Water board demands separate power tariff

Karachi: Rejecting NEPRA’s decision for not setting a separate KESC tariff Karachi Water & Sewerage Board has started to contact trade, industrial and social welfare circles of the city against the decision.

A letter to trade organizations, Karachi Chamber of Commerce, Association and Builders and Developers and Members of Civil Societies was sent in this regards explaining KW&SB’s stance on the matter and the impacts of the additional tariff on KW&SB supply and sewage system.

The letter said that KW&SB is a public service institution and to bear the additional 400 million monthly load. “We will have no choice but to shift the load on residential, commercial and industrial consumers, and we hold NEPRA responsible for that. It was therefore requested to support KW&SB for the welfare of citizens.”

It was explained that these steps are requested so that NEPRA may change the decision allowing KW&SB to ensure swift provision of water supply and sewage disposal facilities to the city of lights.

According to Managing Director KW&SB Misbahuddin Farid, on one hand NEPRA has rejected the request with the stance that this is an internal affair between KESC and KW&SB, therefore they should resolve it internally. In addition, on the other they have allowed KESC to raise the billing rate from 5 rupees to 18 rupees per unit.

Furthermore, he stated that KW&SB decided to contact NEPRA since NEPRA is a regulatory authority and KESC cannot set rates without authorization from NEPRA. Moreover, the dialogue between KW&SB and KESC was not concluded in this regard, which is why we requested NEPRA to intervene in the matter and do justice based on ground facts. However, the stance NEPRA has taken can only be regarded as injustice.

He said that KW&SB is a public service institution and it is only fair to demand a separate tariff, which would treat KW&SB as a public service institution instead of a commercial consumer. It is not fair to charge us equal to industries working for profit since we are a nonprofit organization.

He said that out of 9 different taxes imposed on KW&SB in electricity bills we pay 16% General Sales Tax among all the others, which can be waved off since we are not a commercial institution. In addition, 95% of the total water supplied by KW&SB goes to residential consumers and only 5% water is supplied to commercial consumers. Water supplied to residents is a public service and imposing General Tax on a public service is not justifiable.

Moreover, KW&SB works to ensure swift provision of water and sewage disposal facilities to the citizens of Karachi and in order to ensure it in future, trade organizations, Karachi Chamber of Commerce, Association and Builders and Developers and members of civil society have been requested to support KW&SB’s stance.

It was reminded to the recipients that they assured KW&SB not only to support the stance in this regard but also to fight the case and the time demands that they must cooperate with KW&SB so that this public service continues to operate smoothly.