Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Sunday directed relevant authorities to come up with a concrete strategy for a reduction in the over-inflated electricity bills within 48 hours amid protests across the country.
Incensed citizens already battered by skyrocketing inflation continue to take to the streets protesting against massive hikes in electricity tariffs and increased taxes in several cities across the country for the third consecutive day.
Following the demonstrations, Premier Kakar convened an emergency meeting at the PM House in Islamabad today to discuss the matter of exorbitant electricity bills.
The first round of the huddle ended today with no major breakthrough. The interim prime minister was given a detailed briefing on the increase in electricity bills for July in the high-level meeting.
PM Kakar said that no hasty steps will be taken that might damage the country, adding that they will take measures that will not put an additional burden on the national exchequer and be convenient for the consumers.
“It is not possible that while the people face trouble, high-ranked officials and the prime minister continue to consume free electricity paid with the taxes,” he said.
The premier also directed the relevant ministries and departments to provide complete details of officers and institutions who are receiving free electricity.
“I represent the common man,” said the caretaker premier directing that electricity consumption at the Prime Minister’s House and Pakistan Secretariat should be reduced to a minimum.
A second round of the meeting will take place tomorrow (Monday). During the meeting today, the PM was also briefed on measures to prevent electricity theft.
Interim Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar, caretaker Commerce Minister Gohar Ijaz, interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi, adviser to PM Dr Waqar Masood, power secretary, Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) chairman, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) chief and other relevant officials attended the meeting.
In a statement issued on X following the huddle, the prime minister said that the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) and the Ministry of Finance have been tasked with the responsibility of making an action plan to provide relief to the people.
“Consultations will be held with the provinces tomorrow and the caretaker government will try to provide as much relief as possible within its mandate,” he wrote on the microblogging website — previously known as Twitter.
More to follow…
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