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NEPRA Approves Rs. 3.82 Per Unit Surcharge on Electricity

On the request of the International Monetary Fund, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Monday authorized the government’s proposal to impose a Rs. 3.82 per unit tax on power (IMF).

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In order to decrease circular debt, the charge is intended to pay for the power sector’s debt servicing expenses. The plan calls for it to last for 4 months starting on March 1 and then continue for the remainder of the following fiscal year at a lower rate of Rs. 1.43 per.

“In view thereof, the authority has decided to allow the application of the surcharge to be recovered from different categories of consumers (of ex-Wapda Discos and K-Electric) for the period from March to June 2023 and for 2023-24, to cover the markup charges of Power Holding Ltd (PHL) loans”, the regulator last week during an open hearing.

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The surcharge of 43 paisas per unit for agricultural and residential clients consuming up to 300 units will now be officially announced by the government. All additional consumer groups in the domestic market, such as commercial, industrial, general services, bulk, and others, would be charged an additional fee of Rs. 3.82 per unit for purchases beyond 300 units. Both K-Electric customers and ex-Wapda distribution firms will be subject to the surcharge in the same way.

The surcharge is anticipated to have a total financial impact of Rs. 335 billion in the upcoming fiscal year. Also, with these extra surcharges, a total of Rs. 75 billion would be charged for the period of March to June, of which about Rs. 68 billion will be recovered at a recovery rate of 90%.

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Relevantly, the IMF requested Pakistan to remove unbudgeted electricity subsidies for exporters and other sectors from its revised CDMP plan created by the Power Division. It also urged the government to fill the Rs. 675 billion unbudgeted gaps in power subsidies by raising electricity rates and taking other measures to increase revenue.

To establish a staff-level agreement by the next week, the lender is asking for action on 4 essential conditions. The continuation of the levy on power users is one of these requirements. These earlier acts have been deemed “unjustified” by lawmakers negotiating on behalf of Pakistan.

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