The matter of fuel adjustment charges (FAC) in the K-Electric (KE) bills for the month of July 2022 was decided by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) after following the due process mentioned in the law, including holding public hearings.
This was stated by Nepra in its comments submitted to the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday on a petition filed by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) against what the party said illegal load-shedding, lack of power generation and collection of different taxes by the KE from its consumers through its electricity bills.
The power regulator submitted that the petitioners had a time of 30 days to challenge Nepra’s FAC determination but they chose not to do so, due to which the decision could not be disturbed through the instant petition.Nepra said the KE had filed a petition for FAC of August 2022 and requested a decrease of Rs4.21 per unit which was approved after following the codal formalities and due to such decision, the consumers of the KE would get relief of Rs7 billion. It asked the SHC to dismiss the petition as not maintainable.
A counsel for the JI sought time to go through the responses submitted by the KE and Nepra for filing rebuttal, after which a division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi granted time to the party and adjourned the hearing till October 18.The JI had earlier filed a rejoinder in the high court submitting that the purchase of electricity through external resources was much cheaper than the electricity generated by the KE, and the power consumers of Karachi had been overburdened with the FAC.
The party maintined that Nepra had failed to consider necessary components such as fuel stock position and plant-wise fuel consumption of the KE for the determination of FAC and passed an unlawful decision, due to which the KE consumers should be refunded.
The petitioner’s counsel requested the SHC that the licence of the KE should be cancelled as it had increased the electricity price and did not invest in its system for generation, transmission and distribution of power supply.Karachi JI chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman and others had maintained in the petition that the KE had been charging almost double the power charges by including different taxes. The petitioners requested the SHC to conduct a forensic audit of the KE’s finances and restrain it from carrying out unannounced load-shedding in the city, especially during night hours. They also sought an injunction against overbilling in the head of FAC, and tax collection through power bills in the heads of sales tax, general sales tax and TV licence fee.
Imtiaz seeks solutionsThe Sindh government has demanded that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) immediately address the issues of load-shedding and overbilling by the K-Electric (KE).
Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh in a meeting with Nepra Chairman Touseef Hasan Farooqi at the energy department on Friday said that people of Karachi were perturbed with frequent power cuts and excessive power bills, and the issue must be addressed by the power regulator.
He added that power distribution companies should be made bound to immediately restore power supply and transmission system in the flood-hit areas of the province. Shaikh informed the Nepra chief that there were also several complaints of forced dismissal of KE employees.