IMF approves plan for temporary relief to electricity consumers

IMF approves plan for temporary relief to electricity consumers
Source: File

Islamabad (Web Desk): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved proposal presented by the Government of Pakistan to provide relief to electricity consumer, using up to 200 units, to pay their bills in installments.

Possibly, four million consumers are expected to get temporary relief from this measure. The final approval for the relief in electricity bills will be obtained from federal cabinet by the prime minister through a circulation of summary. 

According to the finance ministry sources, those consuming up to 200 units are also exempted from late surcharges [fine] if they haven’t paid the monthly bills for August on time. 

However, the IMF has rejected a proposal to extend relief to consumers falling in the category of 201 to 400 units. This decision could have potentially given relief to 32 million consumers.

Additionally, the global lender has also demanded up to 45 to 50% increase in gas tariffs starting from July 1, that is pending for approval from the cabinet, according to sources.

It is worth mentioning that following continuous protests by citizens and traders against the inflated electricity bills and additional taxes, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and his finance team in Islamabad has been trying to persuade for the IMF agreement on immediate relief for electricity consumers. 

The two sides had been involved in various intense talks to find out solutions regarding provision of relief to the public amid countrywide protests.