In response to mounting protests over soaring electricity bills, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) authorized power distribution firms to levy an additional Rs1.46 per unit as fuel charges adjustment (FCA) for July 2023, exempting Electric Vehicle Charging Stations and lifeline consumers. This adjustment, sanctioned under specific regulations, is anticipated to be reflected in the September 2023 billing cycle.
This move exacerbates the financial strain on consumers already grappling with historic inflation and steep fuel and electricity rates, adding a cumulative burden of approximately Rs24.76 billion in the upcoming bills due to the consumption patterns observed in July.
Amid nationwide agitation over the spiralling power bills, the interim government, led by Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, is negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for potential relief measures. This dialogue led to the IMF’s tentative approval of a relief proposal facilitating payment of electricity bills in instalments for consumers utilizing up to 200 units, potentially benefitting around 4 million people. However, a more extensive relief plan was rejected, which could have aided 32 million consumers. The federal cabinet will have the final say on implementing the instalment initiative, whereas a substantial increase in gas tariffs, as suggested by the IMF, is also under consideration.