Reduction in power tariff but theft continues

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday announced slashing of electricity tariff by Rs. 2.32 per unit, adding that he hopes to reduce fuel prices further in the coming month.

He said his government aims to give relief to the people of Pakistan. He said that provision of cheaper electricity to the general public is top priority of the government. He said the work on Pakistan-Iran Gas Pipeline will be started soon and under this project pipeline will be laid from Gwadar to Nawabshah. He said work on a number of energy projects is underway and the completion of these will help end loadshedding in the country. He said it is their effort to overcome the energy crisis during their tenure of government. The Prime Minister said it is their priority to generate cheap electricity at a rapid pace, rectify the transmission lines, lay gas pipelines, controlling the theft of electricity and corruption. Prime Minister once again reiterated that the foreign investment coming from China is not a loan. He further added that cheaper electricity will help reduce prices and increase exports. He said economic indicators are showing improvement as a result of prudent policies adopted by the government. The prime minister added that curbing electricity-theft and improving the transmission and distribution network is the need of the hour.

It is a fact that due to the cheaper electricity there will be a substantial decrease in the inflation and the industrial production will increase which would be helpful to reduce the unemployment in the country. Farmers will directly benefit from the decrease in the prices of electricity and petroleum products. Prime Minister also gave a hint to further slash the petroleum prices in the next month, although in international market price of petrol has been reduced to the lowest level in the last four years and almost 60 dollar per barrel. It is also a fact that due to the electricity shortfall in the Pakistan, countries that wish to invest in the country are unable to do so.

Earlier in the last month, Pakistan’s Ministry for Water and Power says it has devised a mechanism to address consumer complaints after power distribution companies were found to have charged excessive electricity costs from consumers.

News of the over-billing in the month of September had lead to a public outcry, forcing the federal government to announce an investigation into the matter. Unsatisfied by an audit report on the matter presented to him on Friday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered a special high-powered committee to examine afresh the issue of the inflated electricity bills.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not satisfied by the audit report on the issue of overbilling constituted a special high-powered committee to examine afresh the issue of inflated electricity bills. The committee’s terms of reference include finding out whether the reduction of Rs65 billion in circular debt was actually the result of recovered arrears or achieved by inflated bills. Although the reduction in the unit which has jumped over rupees fifteen has been reduced by Rs 2.32 per unit, which would provide much relief to the suffering masses. It had become almost impossible for the middle class to pay the electricity bills which has been almost doubled as compare to the last government. Government also must take stern actions to control the theft of the electricity. Pakistan is one the top countries with the highest percentage of power theft. According to some survey 10 to 15 percent theft happens but in our country the percentage is alarmingly high as it has crossed over 30 percent. Constructions of dams vital to meet the supply and demand of electricity which is also the cheapest way to get the electricity.

 

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