The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved exempting electricity consumers using up to 200 units from late surcharge following intense talks regarding inflated electricity bills amid countrywide protests.
Under the new plan, 4 million electricity consumers are likely to get temporary relief.
According to the finance ministry’s sources, those consuming up to 200 units are exempted from late surcharge [fine] if haven’t paid the monthly bills for August on time while they are also allowed to pay the amount in installments.
“The final approval to collect bills in installments will be taken from the federal cabinet,” the sources said, adding that about 4 million electricity consumers are likely to get temporary relief from this initiative.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar would get the cabinet approval of the plan through summary circulation.
According to the source, the interim government’s plan to provide relief to those consuming up to 400 units of electricity per month was rejected by the IMF.
32 million consumers could have benefited had this proposal been approved, the source added.
IMF had emphasized the need to crack down on electricity and gas thieves and improve recovery.
The sources added that the Fund had also demanded an increase of 45 to 50% in gas tariff from July 1.
However, the hike in gas tariff is subject to the approval of the federal cabinet.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan is under an IMF program and any relief or subsidy is subject to its approval.
Earlier in the week, the interim government announced a crackdown against electricity theft.
As the theft has caused huge line losses, the rising cost of imported fuel for power generation, and the capacity charges have inflated the monthly bills to a record level.