PM announces Rs50bn relief for power consumers

News Desk
Wednesday, Jul 10, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced on Tuesday that power tariff would not be increased for electricity customers using up to 200 units for a period of three months, saying this concession will cost the government Rs50 billion.

“The household consumers who consume up to 200 units of electricity will get a subsidy for three months — July, August, September,” PM Shehbaz told an event in Islamabad.The announcement comes after public outcry over a government’s decision to massively increase power tariff, touted as a pre-condition to secure the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan.

The Prime Minister, whose government has been under severe criticism for burdening the salaried class through the new budget, said the subsidy would cost the national exchequer Rs50 billion. “These households make up to 94 per cent of the electricity consumers. This subsidy will be funded through our budget’s development fund,” he said, adding the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had slashed power prices sans allocation in the budget.

PM Shehbaz said under the package, cost of per unit electricity will be Rs4 to Rs5 per unit and consumers of K-Electric will also be eligible for this subsidy. He said the decision had been taken to provide relief to common man in the wake of increase in electricity tariff.

He added these three summer months happen to be the hardest to cope with and ultimately from October onwards as the weather gets pleasant, the electricity consumption also gets down. The Prime Ministerfurther said the coalition government will overcome all difficulties together, adding the only way to overcome economic woes was to nab corruption.

In a bid to unlock the IMF programme of over $6 billion, the federal government earlier this month increased the applicable end-power tariff of protected consumers by up to 51 per cent and unprotected consumers by up to 43 per cent, which was earlier slated to take effect from July 1 before the PM’s announcement of power subsidy.