Tausif H. Farooqui, Chairman of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), stated on Saturday that MDI (Maximum Demand Indicator) Fixed Charges levied on the industry could not be reduced because the current account deficit was to be addressed by charging in accordance with the allotment.
He was speaking to members of the business community at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). The LCCI President, Kashif Anwar, and Vice President, Adnan Khalid Butt, both spoke on the occasion, and members of the Executive Committee were present.
The Chairman of NEPRA stated that the energy tariff will be determined by the cost of power generation, which was already high because “we rely on imported fuels and consumers have to bear expensive electricity owing to currency depreciation.”
He also referred to the operation of cold storages as seasonal, adding that while seasonal businesses could disconnect and reconnect their electricity connections as needed, cold storages were not a seasonal business because they operated all year and met the country’s needs for vegetables, fruit, and other perishable items.
LCCI President Kashif Anwar stated that NEPRA imposed Maximum Demand Indicator costs on all industrial and commercial consumers a few months ago, charging them 50% of their sanctioned load.
He stated that the electricity cost had to be paid even though the units were not in use. They would pay the bill based on the units utilized rather than the MDI charges if they consumed more than 50% of their authorized load.
He stated that this decision would have an impact on the business community since industrial units would be closed or work in their industry would be done on a seasonal basis. “We have also raised this problem with the CEO of LESCO, who has guaranteed the business community of his full support in this matter.”
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According to the NEPRA Chairman, at the pace that Discos were billing MDI, they were shelling out 10% more money to Central Power Purchasing Agency Guarantee Limited (CPPA-G). They were charging a remarkably low price.
The president of the Lahore Chamber, Kashif Anwar, responded that notice of the disconnections and reconnections should be given so that “we have some legal protection in this regard” after Tausif H. Farooqui stated that NEPRA had permitted the seasonal industry to disconnect and reconnect four times a year without any fees.
We’ll be holding an MDI hearing the following week, the NEPRA Chairman announced. Businessmen can share their concerns with us by joining it. Businessmen are not assessed any MDI if they use more than 50% of the available electricity.
One needs to reconsider if their sanctioned load is high but their utilization is modest. According to Tausif H. Farooqui, the Authority agreed to keep the net metering fee at Rs 19.90 and will not be less than that.