Energy Ministry Proposes Solutions to Address Inflated Power Bills in Pakistan

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The issue of inflated power bills in Pakistan, which has led to widespread protests, is being addressed by the Ministry of Energy. The ministry has finalized recommendations to tackle this problem and will present them in the upcoming federal cabinet meeting.

Public outrage over exorbitant electricity bills has resulted in large-scale protests since Saturday. The interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq has taken notice of the situation and convened an “emergency” meeting to discuss the issue. However, the meeting remained inconclusive, and another round of discussions will take place today.

In a statement shared on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi announced that a high-level meeting was held to finalize proposals regarding electricity bills. These proposals will be presented in the federal cabinet meeting on Tuesday, where a final decision will be made. The federal cabinet is authorized to approve such proposals and make decisions on them.

Solangi emphasized that the government cannot tolerate a situation where the poor are burdened with heavy bills while the elite class and officers of various institutions enjoy free electricity.

Protests against inflated power bills are ongoing in different cities. In Peshawar, citizens blocked Kohat Road to voice their concerns about expensive electricity and prolonged power outages. Protesters in Charsadda blocked Farooq Azam Chowk and expressed their grievances against the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda). Citizens in Battagram also staged a protest, blocking the Karakoram Highway and criticizing the government for sending inflated electricity bills.

Traders’ union leaders and citizens protesting in various cities have condemned the increase in electricity prices, stating that it puts an excessive burden on the poor. They argue that people cannot afford more taxes and claim that the government is trying to shift its responsibility onto consumers instead of addressing its own incompetency.

In Rawalpindi, protests were staged outside the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) offices, where citizens burned their bills and expressed their discontent with the government. Jamaat-i-Islami has announced a countrywide strike on September 2 to protest against electricity bills.

During the meeting chaired by the interim Prime Minister, it was revealed that Wapda/Discos employees were provided free electricity worth Rs1 billion, while common citizens were paying up to Rs42 for each unit. The Prime Minister emphasized that the government would not make hasty decisions that harm the country’s interests. Measures would be taken to minimize the burden on the national exchequer and facilitate consumers. The Prime Minister also called for details on officials receiving free electricity and pledged to reduce electricity consumption at the Prime Minister House and Pak Secretariat.

The government aims to provide relief to the people within its mandate while ensuring energy conservation. In addition, a roadmap to curb electricity theft and a short-, medium-, and long-term plan for power sector reforms are being developed.

The interim government is committed to addressing the issue of inflated power bills and providing relief to the public. It will operate within its mandate to implement necessary measures and reforms in the power sector to ensure fair and affordable electricity billing for all.

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