The government has decided to conduct an audit of Neelam Jhelum surcharge collections from power consumers through the Auditor General of Pakistan.
The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) was to collect the Neelum-Jhelum surcharge till the commencement of commercial operation of the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project. The plant became operational in 2018, but WAPDA continued to receive surcharges.
Now, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to audit the surcharge collection. It has also decided to abolish the surcharge from next month, which was collected from consumers at the rate of Rs .10 per unit for financing the hydropower project.
However, following an extension in the ECC’s own decision in May 2018. The Neelam Jhelum surcharge was allowed to apply until the entire project’s commercial operation date (COD).
The Neelum Jhelum plant delivered 590 gigawatt hours (GWh) of power from Unit 3 on July 4, 2018. 453 gigawatts from Unit 4 on October 4, 2018. 331 gigawatts from Unit 2 on August 27, 2018. 314 gigawatts from Unit 1 on December 28, 2018.
The Neelam Jhelum surcharge collected by the distribution companies, and transferred to WAPDA after December 28, 2018. The date of handling of units of the Neelam Jhelum project, needs audit by the Auditor General of Pakistan. Surcharge collected after WAPDA took over the project could refund to customers in their incoming electricity bills. The ECC considered a summary entitled “Neelam Jhelum Surcharge to 0.10 / kWh” and approved the proposal.