Demos against fuel surcharge

Posted on December 15, 2011. Filed under: NEPRA, Tariff, Wapda / KESC |

LAHORE, Dec 13: Protests against imposition and recovery of fuel adjustment surcharge through electricity bills were reported from Multan Road and Defence areas on Tuesday with no loss of property or life.

Consumers in both the areas gathered at the local offices of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) and wanted getting the surcharge deducted from their bills.

However, the Lesco employees refused to oblige them this time, triggering protests by those who had gathered there.

`Problem with the people is that they think that court`s stay order in their favour has been extended which was basically for industrial consumers and not for domesticones who are trying to avoid payment,` says a Lesco official.

He said they (Lesco officials) also had this confusion and they temporarily deducted the surcharges last month.

This month, the government had told the company to recover the surcharge, and the company had included the surcharge in the bills, he added.`What is hurting the people more and makes the fuel adjustment surcharge look exceptionally inflated is the fact that the actual bill is very low in the winter,` says another Lesco employee.

`Now, the bills make a horrendous reading: a bill of say Rs1,000 carries Rs2,000 fuel adjustment surcharge. These charges belong to the months of June and July when consumption of electricity units touches its peak. The bill-fuel charges equation is lopsided and hurting people more than anything else,` he said.

`This is sheer dishonesty on the part of the government; it has divided electricity tariff in many parts regular tariff, government duties and fuel adjustment surcharge,` said a man who participated in the protest in Defence.

`When the government talks about tariff, it only talks about regular head of tariff, which is a partial part of total charges. Taxes and fuel adjustment surcharge are exorbitant but not part of the tariff. It is what hurts consumers and hurts beyond tolerance, he said.

Dawn.com

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