PM Kakar pledges to announce new plan within 48 hours over inflated power bills
Decides stern actions against electricity theft, end free units to public servants
By News Desk
August 27, 2023 07:34 PM
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar Ul Haq Kakar Sunday pledged to announce a new plan for the people within 48 hours against inflated power bills after the consultation, reported the 24NewsHD TV channel.
According to sources, the PM said that this consultation would be completed in the next 48 hours on the issue of electricity bills. In this regard, he also sought a comprehensive strategy from the concerned officials within two days to provide relief to the masses. “The public will be informed about the decisions after 48 hours,” he added.
Amid mounting public outcry over electricity price hikes, Kakar has summoned an urgent meeting with officials from the power ministry and electricity distribution companies on Sunday.
The move comes only a day after Pakistani citizens and trade associations united in protest across various cities in Pakistan against the hike in power bills.
After the meeting, the PM said that he is well aware of the problems of the common man due to excessive electricity bills as they are very close to him.
Kakar vowed that no burden would be placed on the national exchequer and efforts would be made to provide relief to the common man within the existing resources.
There will be more focus on electricity saving and electricity theft, the Caretaker prime minister said, adding that implementation of a power-theft prevention and saving plan is not possible without consulting the provinces.
The sources said that the PM will also hold a meeting with the caretaker chief ministers of the provinces on August 28 (tomorrow) on the issue of electricity.
The issue of electricity will also be taken up in the SIFC meeting.
Kakar said that it is not possible that the common man is in trouble and the bureaucrats and the Prime Minister use free electricity on their taxes.
A detailed consultation with the provincial chief ministers will also be held tomorrow on the implementation of electricity-saving measures and the issue of excess bills for July.
Earlier, the caretaker PM and the power ministry, in an emergency meeting decided to take stern actions against electricity theft and stop distributing free power units to the public servants.
Caretaker PM Anwarul Haq Kakar called an emergency meeting with the concerned departments over the high electricity rates.
The meeting was given a detailed briefing on the problems of the electricity sector, details regarding excess bills, electricity theft and measures to be taken to prevent it.
It was also decided that the distribution companies would not cut off connections immediately over non-payment of electricity bills by consumers.
The Ministry of Power Division held that the major impact of the increase in electricity prices will hit consumers of more than 400 units of electricity. The tariff for 63.5% of domestic consumers has not been increased and the electricity prices for 31.6% of domestic consumers have been increased by Rs 3 to Rs 6.5 per unit and the tariff has been increased by Rs 7.5 per unit for only 4.9% of domestic consumers. The average tariff for domestic consumers was increased by Rs 3.82 whereas Rs 7.5 per unit was increased for consumers in other categories.
The power division gave a briefing to the caretaker PM saying that the imported coal was bought at Rs51000 to Rs61000 per metric ton. In the next year, Rs2 trillion has to be paid only in terms of capacity payments.
They said that the electricity tariffs are fixed by NEPRA and the electricity prices fluctuate under the Consumer Price Index. KIBOR and fuel price adjustments also impact electricity prices.
The PM also sought a road map from Distribution Companies (Discos) to prevent electricity theft.
“Power sector reforms and short, medium- and long-term plans should be presented as soon as possible,” he emphasized.
Interim Cabinet Federal Ministers Shamshad Akhtar, Gohar Ijaz, Murtaza Solangi, Advisor to Prime Minister Dr. Waqar Masood, Secretary Power, Chairman WAPDA, Chairman Nepra, and other relevant senior officials attended the meeting.