Consumers Being Charged Electricity at Rs. 45 Per Unit, Senate Body Informed

On Wednesday, during a session of the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat, it was disclosed that consumers have incurred a cost of Rs. 45.06 per unit for electricity, encompassing capacity charges, energy charges, and the margin of the Distribution Companies (DISCOs).

The committee convened at Parliament House under the leadership of Senator Saadia Abbasi, who chaired the meeting. The committee received a comprehensive briefing on the recent surge in electricity rates and its consequences for the public. The Chairman of NEPRA (National Electric Power Regulatory Authority) affirmed that NEPRA’s mandate is to furnish consumers with electricity at prices that are both secure and affordable.

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He conveyed that the nation’s total electricity generation capacity stands at approximately 44,000 MW. Presently, the country is producing an average of 25,000 to 26,000 MW of electricity, with 70 percent of it originating from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan inquired whether NEPRA is responsible for granting power generation licenses to IPPs. The NEPRA chairman clarified that these licenses are issued by the government.

The senator argued that addressing the country’s energy crisis necessitates a review of the questionable agreements with IPPs. He asserted that recent events have demonstrated NEPRA’s failure to provide affordable energy to local consumers, focusing primarily on IPPs’ interests.

Senator Abbasi directed NEPRA to furnish detailed information regarding fuel price adjustment charges and capacity payments made to IPPs.

Furthermore, the Senate body deliberated on the proposed increase in gas prices and its nationwide utilization. Officials disclosed that the country produces approximately 2,900 MMcf of natural gas, including 400 MMcf from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 750 MMcf from Balochistan, 100 MMcf from Punjab, and 1,650 MMcf from Sindh.

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The committee’s chairperson also sought updates on the status of the Iran gas pipeline project, which has faced a decade-long delay. Officials reported that negotiations concerning the Iran gas pipeline have gained momentum in the past year. The primary obstacles to the project’s completion are related to commercial and international considerations.

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