Govt sends updated plan to IMF

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker government has decided to use the allocation for IPPs in budget to give relief in electricity bills, citing Finance Ministry.
The government in its communication with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has suggested a new relief plan for electricity bills, sources at the Ministry of Finance said.
The government has decided to utilize over 15 billion rupees allocated for the independent power producers (IPPs), to offer relief on the inflated electricity bills, sources said. “The finance ministry has dispatched fresh relief proposal for electricity bills to the IMF,” according to sources.
“Over 15 billion rupees were additionally allocated for payment to the IPPs in current fiscal year’s budget,” sources said. “This amount can be adjusted to provide relief on bills,” sources said.
“This over 15 billion rupees amount will be allocated for the IPPs after recovery of installments of bills,” sources said.
“The finance ministry officials will hold talks with the IMF on the new plan, in which the lender will be assured of not providing relief out of the budget parameters,” sources added. Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Monday assured that his government was exploring realistic options to come up with out-of-box solutions to provide relief to electricity consumers. Speaking to foreign journalists, the prime minister said that the government would make informed decisions to satisfy electricity consumers on the issue of inflated bills without deviating from the country’s commitments with international financial institutions.
Mentioning the issues of circular debt, power theft, and taxes, PM Kakar said the government would introduce short-term solutions to the issue without undermining the agitating people.
The inflated power bills triggered country-wide protests from Karachi to Khyber and protests in some parts of the country are turning violent.
The protesting masses have been demanding that the government should end the provision of free electricity to the notables and provide them relief as the bills they have been receiving are more than their salaries. –Agencies