Electricity Bills: Pakistan to Provide Relief to ‘Consumers Using Up to 300 Units in October’

Over the weekend, thousands of Pakistanis took to the streets and engaged in nationwide strikes in response to a significant increase in electricity bills. This has put pressure on the caretaker government, especially as the country faces one of the most severe economic crises in recent memory.

The public is demanding that the caretaker government reverse the additional charges that have made electricity almost unaffordable for many citizens. In response, the interim government has reportedly decided to provide relief to power consumers by exempting up to 300 units from charges on October’s bills.

Media reports suggest that consumers with electricity bills of up to Rs70,000 will receive relief of approximately Rs13,000, which translates to nearly 20 percent of their bill amount. To address the growing discontent, the government is working on a strategy to appease the frustrated populace. The cabinet, led by Kakar, is engaged in discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding this relief initiative. It’s worth noting that the IMF had previously rejected a proposal for subsidies.

The IMF has reportedly requested further data from Pakistani officials, and a final decision on this matter is expected in the coming days. Last week, interim Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar held virtual discussions with Esther Perez Ruiz, the IMF’s Resident Representative for Pakistan. During these talks, Ruiz requested a written plan from the interim government detailing the collection of electricity bills and relief measures.

It’s important to note that there are multiple taxes included in the electricity bills that Pakistanis are currently paying. As of now, there have been no directives from the IMF to reduce the price of electricity, and it is likely that the bills will be collected in installments.

In the midst of these developments, nationwide protests and strikes continue unabated. Citizens are burning their bills in protest, and calls for civil disobedience are gaining momentum.

Furthermore, demonstrators are blocking key roads across the country, demanding that the government reevaluate the taxes associated with electricity bills.

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