ISLAMABAD - After gigantic hike in the prices of petroleum products, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz(PML-) government has decided to jack up the price of per unit electricity as Eid gift for the inflation-hit masses.

READ MORE: The CSS sisters

On Wednesday, the PML-N government jacked up the prices of petroleum products (PoL) to the over-burdened oil consumers and sat aside Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s recommendation to stay the oil prices at current level.

Under the monthly oil price review mechanism, the incumbent regime approved hike in POL prices ranging between Rs3 to Rs5.69/litre. After Rs2.73/litre hike, petrol price has soared to Rs104.50/litre. High Speed Diesel (HSD), used mostly by the transport and agriculture sectors, with a raise of Rs3/litre has shoot up to Rs109.76/litre while light diesel oil price, after Rs3.95/litre increase, would now be available at Rs96.12/litre. Kerosene oil, used for cooking purposes in remote areas where liquefied petroleum gas is not readily available, after a raise of Rs4.94/litre, has surged to Rs101.28/litre. And, the price of high-octane blended component (HOBC) has been increased to Rs129/litre from Rs123.46/litre.

Meanwhile, in a press conference the same day, Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhaamad Asif dropped the bomb shell by saying, “commercial, industrial and bulk consumers will witness a hike in power tariff from August 1 while increase in the tariff of domestic consumers would be made from October 1.”

A senior official at the Water and Power Ministry told this scribe that the power ministry has dispatched a summary to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif requesting to approve recommended colossal hike ranging between Rs2 to Rs6.57/unit in electricity tariff from August 1 for commercial, industrial and bulk consumers of the country. He also said that the premier is likely to approve the recommended tariff and a notification to this effect will be issued today (Friday).

Exclusively available with this newspaper the power ministry’s summary of recommended tariff, commercial consumers would witness expansive hike in the tariff ranging between Rs2 to Rs6.18/unit, industrial to face expansive electricity tariff ranging between Rs4 to Rs5.82/unit and the bulk consumers like Bahria Town etc to bear the brunt of recommended heavy raise in the tariff ranging between Rs4 to Rs5.82/unit from August 1.  

As per recommended tariff mentioned in the summary of new tariff, the power consumer fall under commercial category would witness immense increase. Commercial consumers for peak load requirement up to 5kw/up to 100 units would now bear Rs18.00/unit instead of Rs14.77/unit and regular commercial power consumers would now bear Rs16.00/unit instead of Rs9.72/unit while during peak hours (time of day-ToD) the commercial consumers already bearing Rs13.20/unit would now see Rs18.00/unit. More, commercial consumers during off peak (ToD) would face Rs12.50/unit instead of Rs8.01/unit and temporary commercial consumers to pay Rs17.00/unit instead of Rs15.00/unit from August 1.

While industrial consumer of B1 (400 volts up to 40kw) would pay under new tariff of Rs14.50/unit instead of Rs10.51/unit and industrial consumer of B1-ToD during peak hours would witness Rs18.00/unit instead of Rs13.99/unit. And, industrial consumers (B1-ToD) of electricity during off peak hours would bear Rs12.50/unit, which was earlier set at Rs8.22/unit. More, temporary industrial consumer would face Rs12/unit instead of Rs11.50/unit.  Similarly, the water and power ministry in its summary has recommended new tariff ranging between Rs4.05/unit to Rs5.82/unit for single point supply for further distribution.

Power consumers already bearing heavy brunt of sky rocketing power tariff coupled with hours long power cuts would face this immense hike in the power tariff at the advent of Eid ul Fitr.  The masses are bearing heavy high inflation coupled with skyrocketing prices of essential commodities. The surge in oil prices and power tariff hike would aggravate their miseries both directly and indirectly. It would raise the fares ahead of Eid while the beefed up transportation and other costs would result in a general rise in the prices of all commodities.