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IMF Rejects Pakistan’s Plan to Give Relief on Electricity Bills

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reportedly stopped Pakistan from giving relief to power consumers using over 200 units, monthly, ARY News reported on Wednesday. 

ARY News reported quoting the sources, “Circular debt will not come down if relief is given on electricity bills,” IMF said on Pakistan’s relief plan.

The Pakistan people will only get relief in terms of delayed payments of the bills, who are consuming electricity under 200 units for six months continuously.

ARY News reported that the relief will be revoked if the bill of a consumer crosses 200 units in six months. Earlier, Caretaker Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Muhammad Ali, asserted that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not rejected the proposal for the provision of additional subsidies in power tariffs as the government deals with protests against inflated electricity bills. 

According to the sources, the electricity sector’s troubles have persisted despite QTA’s mandate to raise rates by (PKR) 5 per unit in the current month and FPAs by (PKR) 2.72 per unit. In all, a rate increase of more than (PKR) 7 per unit is planned.

The QTAs will be calculated using losses from the April-June period as a result of lower unit consumption, cost escalation of interest payments, and exchange rate movements, Geo News reported citing The News.

Earlier in July, amid the economic crisis in the country, Pakistan increased the electricity base rate by Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 7.5 per unit.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on July 14 allowed the federal government an increase of PKR 4.96/unit in base electricity tariff, as per ARY News.

Moreover, Pakistan’s caretaker government has already requested the power regulator to start charging another PKR 5.40 per unit quarterly tariff adjustment over six winter months starting in October instead of permissible in three months, Dawn reported.

The main reason behind the current power tariff is current depreciation, accounting for almost 70 per cent and the government had no option at its disposal at present to control, considering the IMF programme. Further, a 10-12 per cent hike is due to interest rates and the government and the SBP’s hands are tied under the fund programme.

Source: ANI News