PESHAWAR: Suspending fuel price adjustment in electricity bills for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Peshawar High Court has directed the state and provincial power utilities, their regulator and energy ministry to respond to a petition against the FPA’s imposition.

A bench consisting of Justice Roohul Amin Khan and Justice Shahid Khan issued the stay order against the FPA in electricity bills of the local residents on the petition of the Frontier Printers and Publishers Association and issued notices to the respondents, including Pesco chief executive, chairmen of Wapda and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, federal energy secretary, for response on the next hearing.

It observed that the points raised by the petitioner needed consideration.

It decided to grant interim relief to the petitioner declaring that the collection, imposition and charging of FPA has been suspended to the extent of power consumers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Asks govt, Pesco, regulator for reply to petition against FPA imposition

Lawyers Shahid Qayyum Khattak and Saeed Roman appeared for the petitioner, whereas Nazish Muzaffar represented Pesco along with chief law officer Irfan Riayat and law officer Mohammad Taufeeq.

The petitioner’s counsel contended that the charging of FPA from the petitioner and other consumers in this province was illegal and without lawful authority.

They contended that the power so consumed by the consumers of KP was of hydroelectric generation and in this regard the province was self- sufficient, whereas, the surplus power was shared with other provinces.

They argued that collection of FPA was subject to the generation of power through sources other than hydel.

They contended that the imposition of FPA on consumers of this province was liable to be declared as null and void.

They requested the court to restrain the respondents from claiming and recovering the FPA from consumers here in future.

They further requested the court to direct the respondents to return the already imposed/ levied and collected amount on account of FPA from the petitioner and other consumers of the province, from whom these were unlawfully recovered.

The lawyers said that most members of the association did business in small shops and it had been badly hit by the escalating inflation rate.

They said that the respondents had sent huge amount in monthly electricity bills of Aug on account of FPA for June, which was beyond the paying capacity of the members of the petitioner association as well other consumers.

The counsel contended that the whole businesses of the association members would stop due to imposition of the said FPA in electricity bills.

They argued that this province was blessed with immense hydroelectric potential and the hydroelectric generation of this province was 58 per cent of the total hydroelectric generation.

The lawyers said that it won’t be wrong to say that the production of this province was almost double that what it actually consumed.

They contended that charging the consumers of this province on the pattern of the consumers of other Discos (distribution companies) violated Article 4 of the Constitution as the electricity produced in the province was from hydel sources.

The counsel said that the rate of electricity generated from hydel was hardly Rs1.03 per kWh, while after mixing the same with the electricity produced through other sources, the rate went very high.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2022

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