National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Chairman Tausif H. Farooqui said on Saturday that MDI (Maximum Demand Indicator) Fixed Charges being charged from the industry could not be removed as current account deficit was to be met by charging according to the allocation.
He was talking to business community here at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). The LCCI President Kashif Anwar and Vice President Adnan Khalid Butt also spoke on the occasion while Executive Committee members attended the meeting.
The NEPRA Chairman said that the rate of energy was to be determine on the cost of power generation which was already high because “we depend on the imported fuels and due to the devaluation of currency, people have to bear expensive electricity.” He also called the working of cold storages as season, adding that the seasonal businesses could disconnect their electricity connections and reconnect when they needed electricity but the cold storages were not a seasonal business, as they work throughout the year and met the needs of vegetables, fruit and other perishable items in the country.
LCCI President Kashif Anwar mentioned that a few months back, NEPRA had imposed Maximum Demand Indicator charges on all industrial and commercial consumers under which they were charged 50 percent of their sanctioned load. He said that electricity bill had to be paid without using the units. If they used electricity more than 50 percent of their allotted load, then they would pay the bill according to the units used instead of MDI charges. He said that this decision was affecting the business community whose industrial units were closed or work in their industry was done on a seasonal basis. “We have also taken up this issue with the CEO of LESCO and he has assured all possible support to the business community in this regard,” he said.
The NEPRA Chairman said that the rate at which Discos were charging MDI, they were paying 10 percent more to Central Power Purchasing Agency Guarantee limited (CPPA-G). This was a very low price that they were charging.
Tausif H. Farooqui said that NEPRA had allowed the seasonal industry to disconnect and reconnect four times in a year without any charges to which the President Lahore Chamber Kashif Anwar said that notification of disconnection and reconnection should be issued so that “we have some legal protection in this regard.” The NEPRA Chairman said, “We are having a hearing next week on MDI. By joining it businessmen can let us know about their concerns. If businessmen are using more than 50 percent electricity, they are not charged any MDI. If one has high sanctioned load while usage was low then it needs to rethink.” Tausif H. Farooqui said that the Authority had decided that the rate of net metering would remain at Rs 19.90 and would not be less than that.