Every electricity users will pay a specific amount for the security of CPEC, regardless of his income level.
The power regulators are asked to charge 1% from every electricity user as part of the tax and the money would be used to fund CPEC projects worth $15.56 billion.
Nepra has been notified by Water and Power Ministry to make this 1% a part of the tariff.
Nepra says “The authority has decided to allow 1% capital cost of the project reduced by $150,000/annum (subject to 3pc indexation for each year after the first year from COD (commercial operation date)) as security cost in respect of each CPEC power project in accordance with the approved payment mechanism and the same shall be treated as pass-through item”.
The reaction by power regulators and other investors on this notice was not supporting the government. They believe that the users are already paying a huge amount of taxes and another tax in the name of security shouldn’t be placed on them. NEPRA is of the opinion that providing security is state’s responsibility.
There was some news circulating that Pakistan asked Chinese financial aid to fulfill CPEC security expenses but the Chinese denied the request. Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has disapproved such news and said that Chinese companies are working in Pakistan, providing security is Pakistan’s responsibility.
This is not the first tax Pakistani consumers are paying. There are already many taxes part of the electricity bill of a common man including Neelum Jehlum power project surcharge, Pakistan Television Fee, circular debt interest payment surcharge and power cost recovery surcharge.
We are deprived of electricity; every other hour electricity is shut down. WAPDA has its own hours and own timing on when to supply consumers with electricity and when to shut it off.
So hats off to our government for not being able to supply 24-hour electricity to the people but being really quick in deciding to add another tax into already filled tax bucket. Our government deserves applause and all the praise in the world. CPEC project, whose future is also uncertain is already doing all it can to further worsen our lives.