ISLAMABAD - The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has brought unpredicted agony for the hapless masses by approving raise in electricity rates up to an alarmingly skyrocketing level, it transpired on Thursday.The authority has approved a massive record raise in per unit electricity rates to 31 per cent, most likely first time in the history of the country to rub salt on the wounds of already troubled power consumers, the sources revealed. They informed TheNation that Nepra has given this surge for the current financial year resultantly the tariff of Wapda hydro electric power has been jacked up to Rs 1.54 per kwh from Rs 1.18 per kwh of electricity and per unit of electricity has witnessed a surge of 36 paisas after this decision. This colossal hike would be collected from the power consumers by imposing it on Wapdas generation of 6516 megawatt so is applicable only on Wapdas production of electricity in the country. They revealed that a really hefty amount worth Rs 45 billion and 85 crores would be collected from the power consumers in the current financial year. Rs 6 billion would also be collected from the power consumers under the net hydel profit of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa while in a bid to end the financial shortfall surfaced during the financial year 2009-10 and 2010-11, a heavy amount worth of Rs 5 billion and 57 crores has also been approved to add woes and worries of hard pressed consumers. They were of the view that power tariff would witness reduction from 16 per cent after collecting the said substantial amount so per unit of electricity would stand at Rs 1.35. This tariff will not be applicable on the IPPs. Earlier, Wapda Hydro Electric had sought 120 per cent hike in the per unit price of hydel power from the regulatory authority in its petition on 20th May 2011, the sources added. Available documents with this scribe also confirm that Wapda Hydro Electric has filed a tariff petition before the authority under Rule 3 of the bulk supply tariff for financial year 2011-12 in respect of its hydropower plans with an aggregated capacity of 6,750 MW. The petitioner submitted to the authority that due to various factors its current revenue requirement has increased substantially necessitating upward revision in its bulk supply tariff and also claimed that its estimated revenue requirement for FY 2011-12 has increased to Rs 80,065 million which requires an increase in tariff from the presently determined average sale rate of Rs 1.18kwh to an average rate of Rs2.601 per kwh. The petitioner in its submission sought relief in respect of the components including increase in regulatory asset base, increase in O & M cost of the organization, increase in rate of return, increase in depreciation charges and Ijara rentals, increase in water use charges (WUC), regulatory revenue gap, Net Hydel Profit (NHP) and reduction in other income. The Nepra in its decision has said that WAPDA Hydroelectric is allowed to charge total tariff as indicated above for a period of one year, after which the tariff pertaining to recovery of revenue gap will automatically cease to be applicable. WAPDA Hydroelectric, however, will continue to charge its regular tariff after one year till next determination of the authority. The Nepra decision has also said that the examination of actual accounts for FY 2009-10 and FY 2010-11 revealed that shortfall in revenue requirement of WAPDA Hydroelectric has resulted due to the two main factors i.e. variation in the actual NEP and also due to non application of tariff determined by the Authority in its last determination dated September 17, 2010. Further, since no change in the position taken by the Authority in its last determinations on the issue of net hydel profit has been witnessed, therefore, the authority has decided to maintain its previous stance on the issue and leaves the matter of NHP to be resolved by the Council of Common Interests. Additionally, the issue of Net Hydel Profit as per provisions of the article 161(2) of the Constitution of the Islamic republic of Pakistan was discussed in detail at paras 43 and 44 of the previous determination of the Authority dated September 17, 2010. The authority while deciding on the issue of Net Hydel Profit maintained its previous position taken by the Authority in the tariff determination for WAPDA Hydroelectric dated May 24, 2004 and tariff determination of the Authority dated January 6, 2006 whereby it was stated since no change in its position taken inits determination of May 24, 2004 is warranted and leaves the issue of net hydel profit to bedecided by the Council of Common Interests.