Electricity: Taxes & surcharges

Besides suffering from lingering electricity load shedding and outages of varying durations, domestic consumers are also paying as many as five taxes and surcharges on their bills apart from TV fee. These taxes, surcharges and duties are Excise Duty, GST, Neelum-Jhelum Surcharge, FC Surcharge and TR Surcharge. Of these taxes and surcharges, TR Surcharge is the heaviest and is charged on some 25 to 35 per cent basis of LESCO bill.
As the new federal budget for financial year 2017-18 is being presented in the National Assembly on May 26, there is some time to make a passionate appeal to Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to get these taxes and surcharges revised downwardly particularly TR Surcharge.
With a heavy heart it is pointed out that while the domestic consumers are being charged so heavily on account of taxes and surcharge besides costly electricity, they are not aware as to what these taxes and duties are and whether these were part of the Finance Bill 2016 when the budget for outgoing fiscal was passed by Parliament in June last year.
In all fairness, PM keeps taking measures to provide some relief in the power tariff but these taxes and surcharges are just too excessive and unbearable to say the least, please. This matter needs urgent attention of the prime minister on a priority basis as paying taxes in the ratio of 25 to 36 per cent on electricity bills is just intolerable for the salaried people particularly for pensioners.
ASMAAR BILAL
Lahore

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