Monday, July 24, 2023
By
Web Desk

No increase in power tariff for lifeline, protected consumers: PM Shehbaz

"Due to the toughest conditions from IMF, the government had to raise the electricity prices," says premier

By
Web Desk
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses the signing ceremony of the agreement between Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) and SOCAR of Azerbaijan in Lahore on July 24, 2023. — PID
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses the signing ceremony of the agreement between Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) and SOCAR of Azerbaijan in Lahore on July 24, 2023. — PID

  • Burden should not be passed on to protected segments, says PM.
  • Announces 63% of domestic consumers will be exempted from recent power hike.
  • Last week, cabinet gave a go-ahead to a massive increase in base tariff of electricity.


As part of his efforts to provide relief to the poor, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday announced exempting lifeline (up to 100 units) and protected category of consumers (101-200 units per month) from the recent massive increase in the power tariff.

On July 22, the federal cabinet gave a go-ahead to a massive increase in the base tariff of electricity by up to Rs7.50 per unit against the national average tariff determination of Rs4.96 by the power regulator.

Consumer categoriesIncrease
Using up to 100 units
Rs3.0
Those using 101-200 units
Rs4.0
Those using 201-300 units
Rs5.0
Those using 301-400 units
Rs6.5
Those using 401-700 units
Rs7.5

Last week, the regulator hiked the tariff to increase revenue collection for the loss-making power distribution companies (Discos) during the current fiscal year.

The hike is set to come into force from July 1 after formal notification by the Nepra following a public hearing.

Addressing the signing ceremony of a framework agreement between the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) Trading and Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL), PM Shehbaz said, "The 63% of domestic consumers using up to 200 units per month will be exempted from the recent increase in power tariff."

He maintained that a partial subsidy was also being given to those consuming up to 300 units per month, who were around 31% of the total domestic consumers.

“Due to the toughest conditions from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government had to raise the electricity prices but I stressed that the burden should not be passed on to the protected segments of the society,” the premier added.

Talking about the framework agreement, under which SOCAR Trading has offered to supply one cargo per month of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Pakistan on flexible terms and with a credit line for 30 days after delivery of the cargo in one year contract which is extendable by another year, the premier said it was really a great day as “we are standing here as brothers from two brotherly countries — Pakistan and Azerbaijan”.

He expressed good wishes for President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev whom he met in Baku a few weeks ago and thanked him for finalizing the agreement.

“We had an extremely productive and very fruitful discussion over there as to how to promote economic relations between the two friendly countries,” he said, adding immediately on his return home, the government of Pakistan accorded approval to the Azerbaijan Airline to land at Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

“This is a big step forward to promote tourism and investment, and exchange of delegations between the two countries.”

Speaking on the occasion, Azerbaijan's ambassador said the framework agreement would help further strengthen bilateral economic relations.

He said the cooperation between the two countries remained sustainable since the start of diplomatic ties.

The ambassador said that approval of giving airspace to Azerbaijan Airlines would increase the number of visitors and business delegations between the two counties.


— With additional input from APP