The high prices for gas and electricity have made the life of ordinary people miserable. Prime Minister Imran Khan, while chairing a high-level meeting on the issue of current high gas and electricity prices, ordered the authorities concerned to find “out of the box solution ” to lower electricity and gas tariffs to ease domestic consumers and reduce inflation in the country.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Energy Umar Ayub, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr. Hafeez Sheikh, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan and SAPM on Petroleum Nadem Babar.
Several proposals were presented during the meeting to reduce gas and electricity tariffs, especially for domestic consumers. Nadeem Babar also presented a long-term plan in this regard, According to the Prime Minister Office.
Prime Minister Khan alleged that former governments were responsible for raising gas and electricity tariffs because they had made illogical and costly international deals in the energy sector without realizing the purchasing power of the common man. “This has resulted in costly electricity and accumulation of circular debt,” he added.
The meeting was informed that the government had taken effective measures to control the theft of electricity and, as a result, generated revenues of 122 billion rupees. Similarly, the circular debt was reduced to Rs12bn per month against Rs36bn. The Prime Minister has been informed that the circular debt will be reduced to zero by the end of the current fiscal year.
The prime minister was informed that the government was bearing the cost of expensive power plants installed during the previous regimes and the burden of these projects was indirectly affecting the people. He said provision of relief to the poor and inflation-hit people and promotion of industries were top priorities of his government so that the wheel of the economy could move.
The meeting was informed that the present government was taking measures to ensure the availability of these utilities to domestic and industrial consumers at appropriate rates so that people and industries could get relief.
The prime minister, while talking to a group of reporters at the PM House a few days ago, had expressed dissatisfaction over the hike in electricity and gas rates and assured that these would not be increased in the near future. He was of the view that the high electricity and gas tariff, especially for the industrial sector, was one of the reasons for the rampant inflation in the country.
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28 March, 2020