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.

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Nepra delaying action against KESC: PC

Posted on June 16, 2011. Filed under: NEPRA, Wapda / KESC |

JUNE 16, 2011


The Privatisation Commission (PC) has accused the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) of delay in taking any action against the management of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) for its poor operational performance causing long power break downs in Karachi.

An official of PC said that after lapse of three years, PC has a very limited role in operational affairs of the power utility. After privatisation, it is governed by the KESC Board and its private management and PC is no more responsible for poor performance of the utility.

He said, “An independent regulator NEPRA is primarily responsible for the operational issues of KESC which are presently soaring eg regulations, tariff and revenue determinations, and penalties on non-performance”.

The KESC is facing serious operational issues but the regulator’s parent ministry is also not playing a dominant role which can lead to a successful turnaround of the company with the efforts of existing owner and management.

The company is a commercial organisation and presently working under serious financial stress. Its profitability, existing cash flows will determine how to address employment issues under the international practices.

In the annual budget 2011-12, the government has allocated a subsidy of Rs 24.5 billion. This subsidy is payable on tariff differential. The spokesperson of KESC said the company was not facing operational issues but unionists were damaging and sabotaging the smooth supply of KESC.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also chaired a meeting to look into the affairs of the KESC on Friday. The meeting decided to form a committee, comprising representatives of key stakeholders, to discuss the utility’s labour-related issues and find solution to the problems in minimum possible time.

During the meeting, the KESC management was also directed to make all out efforts to improve the power supply. Besides federal ministers, the meeting was also attended by the chairman of Nepra, the secretary of water and power and the Sindh chief secretary.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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