Current Affairs

IMF agreement, Govt can’t reduce electricity prices: Power Division

In a bid to alleviate the burden on the public with regards to electricity bills, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar is set to lead a significant meeting today. The primary focus of the gathering will be to explore potential relief strategies for the general populace.

The meeting’s agenda involves a comprehensive briefing from NEPRA, the Power Division, and DISCOs, shedding light on various aspects including prospective relief measures, electricity theft prevention, loss minimization, and financial recovery methods.

The discussions will also take into account the public’s response to the ongoing issue of inflated electricity bills. Additionally, a detailed presentation will be given regarding taxes, surcharges, and the potential solutions to address these concerns.

The Power Division has explicitly stated that due to the conditions stipulated in the IMF agreement, the government’s capacity to reduce electricity tariffs is restricted. Consequently, the division’s position is rooted in the belief that the best way to provide relief to the public lies in optimizing revenue collection mechanisms.

It is worth noting that the rise in the basic electricity tariff was executed under the provisions set forth by the IMF. The Power Division underscores that the annual losses incurred due to electricity theft and inefficiencies surpass Rs. 500 billion.

Further contributing to the energy sector’s challenges are factors such as the soaring cost of imported fuel, the fluctuating value of the dollar, and a 70% utilization rate per unit of energy generation.

This recent meeting marks a response to the nationwide protests ignited by frequent escalations in power tariffs and the presentation of inflated electricity bills. The interim Prime Minister presided over a preliminary emergency session on Sunday to address these concerns.

During this session, participants were comprehensively briefed on various aspects of the power industry, including insights from the Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and distribution companies (Discos). The discussions revolved around devising effective strategies to minimize the financial burden on the public through electricity bills.

Following the meeting, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar utilized his official account to disseminate key details of the gathering. He conveyed that the participants had agreed to establish a dedicated task force comprising representatives from the energy and finance ministries. This task force is assigned with the crucial responsibility of formulating a comprehensive action plan aimed at delivering relief to the masses.

Furthermore, the task force is also mandated to assess the feasibility of providing free units of electricity to government employees, a move that could potentially alleviate some of the financial strain faced by the public.

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