LAHORE: Electricity users will feel a great deal of comfort after the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench ordered the relevant authorities to suspend the fuel charges adjustment (FCA) from power prices for all consumers rather than only those consuming up to 200 units on Tuesday.
Justice Jawad Hassan presided over the bench as it heard a petition submitted by attorney Ch Rizwan Elahi.
The petitioner asked the court to stop charging power users with the FCA.
The chief of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) was required to appear in court on September 15 while the judge suspended the FCA.
At the subsequent hearing date, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) were also invited.
A separate appeal against the FCA was denied by the LHC.
A plea by Sardar Mehrab Hassan, the head of the Pakistan Kissan Party, asking for emergency relief for household and agricultural customers, was being heard by Justice Anwaar Hussain.
The judge dismissed the argument but granted temporary relief to a farm consumer under the FCA.
In addition, the court requested a response on the matter from the federal government, Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO), and other electricity distribution firms.
The judge set September 15 as the date for hearing all petitions on the subject that were comparable to one another.
A recent announcement by the prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, waived FCA on power bills for 17 million of the 30 million customers.
Khurrum Dastgir, the federal energy minister, later clarified during a news conference that the elimination of FCA nationwide only applied to people who used up to 200 units of power each month.
Second, the burdensome expense of electricity users having to pay bills from July to September is intolerable.
Following nationwide demonstrations, the decision to waive the recently announced gasoline adjustment fees was made. But in this instance as too, the government chose a gauge that exempts consumers who purchase less than 200 units from FCA, costing the national exchequer Rs22 billion.
According to the reasoning, it couldn’t have been helped because in June, rising fuel costs on the global market forced them to pass the cost forward.