Amidst nationwide protests against surging electricity bills, the interim government has devised a strategy to alleviate the burden on consumers, according to sources reported by Geo News on Monday.
The caretaker government aims to provide relief to consumers in October by granting Rs3,000 to those using up to 300 units of electricity in their bills.
Furthermore, consumers facing electricity bills ranging from Rs60,000 to Rs70,000 will experience significant relief, with reductions of up to Rs13,000, as indicated by the sources.
Insiders have also revealed ongoing discussions between the caretaker government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding relief measures for power consumers.
Meanwhile, The News reported that the IMF, based in Washington, has requested additional data from the Power Division to make decisions on various proposals submitted to the Fund, seeking relief from the increased bills for August and September.
“Some top sources engaged with the IMF told the publication that, ‘At the moment, authorities of both Power and Finance divisions are in hectic talks with the Fund people on the data related to suggested measures for solace in power tariffs and their possible impact on circular debt, cash flow situation, and further delays to IPPs, ultimately making the power sector more unsustainable.'”
Following continuous protests by citizens and traders against the steep hikes in power bills and additional taxes, the caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar-led government in Islamabad has been working to persuade the global lender to provide immediate relief to electricity consumers in the cash-strapped country, already grappling with soaring inflation.
On August 31, the interim premier assured that the IMF might approve the government’s relief-related proposal within 48 hours, but the response was still awaited after the deadline passed.
The IMF was previously briefed on the proposal, which involved reducing a portion of the tariff by up to 30% for August and September, with the impact of the reduced tariff gradually passed on to consumers over six months during the winter season, from October 2023 to March 2024.