Multiple meetings, no relief on high electricity costs

Interim govt to announce relief after taking IMF onboard: Murtaza Solangi

ISLAMABAD  -  The federal cabinet which met on Tuesday with Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar in the chair, directed the power division to immediate­ly work out the possible relief to domestic power consumers after the recent inflated elec­tricity bills and asked to review their proposals. 

Sources said that the cabinet was unable to take a final deci­sion whether to continue giving free electricity units to govern­ment officers or employees or otherwise. In the meeting on last Sunday Prime Minister Kakar had asked the concerned ministries to give him briefing on provision of free electricity units to govern­ment officers and employees. 

The power division present­ed before the cabinet the com­plete data about those govern­ment officials who're getting free electricity however no final decision was made. The issue of outsourcing of Islamabad in­ternational airport was also re­ferred to the steering committee for further consideration. 

Addressing the cabinet meet­ing Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar said that caretaker government would take every possible measure to provide re­lief to the common man on in­flated power bills. 

Neither the official communi­qué nor the press briefing for the cabinet meeting was held due to lack of consensus on proposals prepared for providing relief to electricity consumers.

Meanwhile, Interim Informa­tion Minister Murtaza Solan­gi said on Tuesday the caretak­er government was engaging with the International Mone­tary Fund regarding relief mea­sures for electricity consumers and an announcement was ex­pected soon.

Solangi made this revelation after a federal cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister An­waarul Haq Kakar, deliberated on the Ministry of Energy’s rec­ommendations for reducing high electricity bills in Islamabad.

interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi also said that the energy ministry had final­ised a list of proposals to provide relief to the inflation-hit popu­lace, which would be presented in today’s meeting.

The energy ministry con­firmed this on X, formerly Twit­ter, earlier today. When Solan­gi was asked about the progress made in the meeting, he said during a TV talk show that decision for providing short-, medium- and long-term relief to consumers were taken. But, he add­ed, these decisions entailed some implications on which the IMF needs to be tak­en onboard. “As we speak, our [interim] Finance Min­ister Shamshad Akhtar is talking to them. So I hope we will soon be in a posi­tion to make the announce­ment,” he said. Asked when the announcement would be made, he replied: “It is a matter of few hours. You are aware of the time dif­ference and complications pertaining to talks with the IMF.” The interim minister said he was expecting that a decision would be reached without any difficulty as the relief measures finalised by the caretaker cabinet would not affect the “two pillars” of primary surplus and cir­cular debt.

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