34 C
Lahore
Monday, August 8, 2022
EditorialKE's cruelty

KE’s cruelty

It seems that the massive destruction due to the ongoing monsoon spell in Sindh was not enough to persuade the federal government of the people’s suffering. That is why it has allowed the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to inflict more burdens on the citizens of Karachi. This is tantamount to rubbing salt in their wounds. In a surprise and shocking move, NEPRA has imposed an additional sales tax worth Rs. 6000 on commercial electricity consumers of K-Electric.

All Pakistan Anjuman Tajran, a representative body of small traders, has rejected the imposition of new sales tax and termed it unjust taxation that will further burden the traders’ community already reeling under heavy taxation. Representatives of traders have threatened to close the city’s entry and exit points if the Rs6,000 levy was not removed from the power bills.

After the withdrawal of the subsidy implied in the earlier tariff, K-Electric rates have now been brought at par with the national tariff being charged by other power distribution companies in the rest of the country.

The timing of this decision is very awkward and the government’s policies in this regard can only be lamented. At a time when hundreds of citizens are facing the wrath of deteriorating climate conditions and there is an emergency situation in rural and urban areas, this decision seems unjustified as well as a cruel one. The government should have waited till the normalisation of the situation after the stabilisation of the economy. The working of NEPRA is questionable too since it failed to regulate the affairs of K-Electric, which is responsible for the misery of Karachi’s citizens. Since the privatisation of this utility, its management has failed to bring all its affairs in order. It has failed on all fronts in managing and serving its clientele in Karachi. Instead of resorting to burdening citizens with an increased power tariff, K-Electric should focus on running its plants at full capacity instead of relying on the national grid, decreasing line losses and introducing a mechanism that forces all consumers to pay their bills. The present ill-timed decision seems the result of a lack of coordination among all concerned authorities. They should have spared a thought for the poor, who will be the ultimate sufferers of this decision.

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