The agriculture sector electricity consumers will now be billed Rs5.35 an unit in off peak hours instead of present rate of Rs8.85/unit; yet the peak hour speed of Rs10.35 will continue. Official sources in the Ministry of Power and Water told ‘The News’ that this particular concessional electricity tariff for agriculture tubewells will cost the authorities Rs27 billion.
That is part of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Rs341 billion agriculture bundle which he declared in September 2015 to improve agriculture productivity by making availability of less expensive agriculture inputs including water through agri tubewells.
It’s worth saying that over the last few years, that also led to substantial lowering of farm incomes and due to unfavourable climate conditions, falling commodity costs and higher stocks, agriculture sector continues to be badly affected. This bundle is an attempt of the authorities as it leads over one fifth to the National GDP. It was the reason, in year 2015/16; agriculture sector grew by negative 0.19 percent against the goal of 3.9pc and last year increase of 2.53percent.
The peak speed of Rs10.35/unit will continue.
General Sales Tax (GST) will be paid by the various provincial authorities. In the event of nonpayment of GST by provincial authorities, the consumers of the various Supply Business (Disco) will be billed for GST along with the established fixed rates.
It further says that in case of the favorable allowance, Fuel Cost Adjustment (FPA) will be picked up by federal government. This facility will be passed on to those agri tubewells consumers that have paid their dues that are outstanding with various Discos either through payment that is whole or agreed instalments.