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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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How is Electricity Tariff Determined in Kashmir?

In the wake of sustained protests over steeply-priced electricity and flour in Kashmir, the federal authorities have announced reductions to ease the load on consumers. This article delves into these measures and their implications for Kashmir and other areas of Pakistan.

The Context of Protests

Rising Concerns Over Utility Prices

  1. Initial Protests: Citizens in Kashmir protested towards the exorbitant prices of electricity and flour, expressing their discontent over the economic stress due to those necessities.
  2. Widespread Grievances: The sentiment echoed beyond Kashmir, with purchasers in other parts of Pakistan demanding relief from soaring utility charges.

Government Intervention

Addressing Electricity Tariffs

  1. Reduction in Basic Tariffs: Following federal approval, the government of Kashmir issued a notification slashing strength quotes for home consumers.
  2. Tiered Pricing Structure: The new tariff structure offers special charges based entirely on usage, with consumers using one hundred devices paying a lower price than those using three hundred gadgets or more.

Impact on Commercial Consumers

  1. Revised Pricing for Businesses: Commercial entities stand to gain from decreased energy prices, albeit at better-tiered pricing than home users.
  2. Government’s Fiscal Responsibility: The selection underscores the government’s dedication to balancing patron remedy with fiscal obligation.

How is Electricity Tariff Determined in Kashmir?

Determining Electricity Tariffs

Cost of Generation

  1. Diverse Energy Sources: Electricity tariffs are influenced by the average cost of generation from various sources such as water, nuclear, coal, RLNG, gas, and furnace oil.
  2. Recent Figures: Reports indicate that in the fiscal year 2023, electricity was predominantly generated from water, nuclear, and RLNG sources.

Additional Factors Affecting Tariffs

  1. Taxation and Levies: Tariffs include components for taxes, transmission losses, and distribution expenses, all contributing to the final unit cost.
  2. Future Projections: The government plans to increase annual payments to IPPs to ensure consistent power supply.

Expert Perspectives

Insights from Energy Analysts

  1. Dr. Fiaz Chaudhry’s Analysis: Dr. Chaudhry highlights that electricity tariffs are contingent upon production costs, capacity payments, transmission losses, and distribution expenses.
  2. Impact of Direct Taxes: Direct taxes on electricity bills contribute to tariff increments, burdening consumers further.

Regional Disparities and Policy Recommendations

  1. Unequal Tariff Distribution: Subsidized electricity in certain regions places an undue burden on consumers elsewhere, exacerbating disparities.
  2. Call for Uniform Tariff Policy: Advocates suggest a unified tariff policy to ensure fairness and affordability nationwide.

Conclusion

Pakistan’s response to the electricity and flour price protests in Kashmir underscores the government’s commitment to addressing consumer grievances. However, challenges persist in achieving equitable utility pricing nationwide, necessitating comprehensive policy reforms.

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