In a major blow for Karachi, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has approved another price hike of Rs9.42 per unit despite the city facing long hours of load shedding.
According to the details, the increase in electricity prices has been made in the context of May’s monthly fuel adjustment. K-Electric officials reportedly said the company has a financial burden of Rs380 billion.
Important to note that NEPRA had already approved a Rs5.25 price hike as fuel adjustment charges for April. The recent increase in the power tariff was approved by NEPRA during a public hearing on KE’s petition seeking an increase in the power tariff by Rs11.34 per unit under the FCA for May. However, NEPRA gave approval for Rs9.42 per unit.
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) approved K-Electric's request to charge customers an additional fuel cost adjustment of Rs9.42 per unit for power used in May.
— Economy of Pakistan (@Pakistanomy) July 5, 2022
The electricity crisis in Pakistan has worsened as the power shortfall reached 7,000 megawatts (MW) last week. However, authorities from K-Electric had initially submitted a plea to NEPRA for the increase in price. They informed the regulator that global oil prices had jumped 22%, which was the reason for the high production cost.
Tough times for Karachi
Pakistan is already facing a tough economic situation, however, it seems that citizens of Karachi will be facing even tougher times owing to the massive price hike in electricity tariff.
Moreover, to add insult to injury, Karachiites have to endure the prolonged and extended duration of load-shedding up to over 12 hours in parts of the city that too in the sweltering weather.
The incessant load shedding has become an alarming situation as it negatively impacts the city’s economic activities. The prolonged power load shedding in Karachi has started creating a law and order situation as citizens irked with unannounced power cuts came out on the streets and staged protests in different areas of the metropolis.
For instance, shopkeepers of Saddar Mobile Market in Karachi even staged a protest demonstration against prolonged power cuts, which have disturbed their business. It may be noted that the Sindh government has also announced the closure of all markets including shopping malls by 9 pm across the province.