Chairman NEPRA has said that Discos are unable to perform their sole job of selling electricity properly, saying that the regulator has not opened an ATM with unlimited cash flow.
In a public hearing, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has approved another hike of Re 0.42 per unit in tariff for Ex-Wapda Distribution Companies (XWDiscos) on account of quarterly adjustment. 'The Discos sole job is to sell electricity and you are unable to perform it properly. We have not opened an ATM with unlimited cash facility,' Chairman NEPRA, Tauseef.H.Farooqi said while presiding over a public hearing on XWDiscos petitions for power tariff increase on account of quarterly adjustment for 3rd quarter (January to March 2021-22) of the current fiscal.
Chairman NEPRA deplored the Discos performance saying your recoveries are only 85pc while the rest is accumulating into circular debt. According to the data of the Central Power Purchasing Authority (CPPA), circular debt stood at Rs 2467 billion by March 2022.
This implies that circular debt is equivalent to 3.8 percent of Pakistan's GDP and represents 5.6 percent of Pakistan's government debt. Growing at the current pace and if it is allowed to grow unaddressed, it is estimated to reach Rs 4 trillion by 2025, demanding the urgency of reforms in the power sector. The rupee value is now half of the dollar, chairman added.
'We have to fulfill the agreements we have made with the power plants, Nepra chairman said. NEPRA has raised the issue of privatization of companies at all levels, he added.
In their separate petitions the power distribution companies had pleaded to recover more than more than Rs 10.54b from power consumers on account of quarterly adjustment. These power distribution companies had claimed this amount on account of capacity charges, transmission charges and market operator fee, impact of transmission and distribution charges and variable maintenance and variable operation charges.
Tesco had pleaded to recover an amount of Rs 4.34b. Pesco's request was for Rs 2.07b and Gepco's request for Rs 1.97b. IESCO had sought an adjustment of Rs 1 billion. MEPCO had requested Rs 1.80b and Hesco Rs 1.91b. During hearing NEPRA official said that power companies did not provide complete statistics. Meanwhile, Nepra in a statement said that this tariff would be charged from the consumers of electricity for three months. NEPRA will issue a detailed decision after scrutiny of data submitted by power companies.