Caretaker PM refuses subsidy, asks people to pay electricity bills

Caretaker PM refuses subsidy, asks people to pay electricity bills

ISLAMABAD – Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar said on Thursday that subsidy on electricity bills was not a solution, therefore, people would have to pay their bills.

Speaking to senior journalists on the prevailing power crisis in the country and mass protests against inflated electricity bills, Kakar said there was a need to diagnose the disease before fining a cure for it. He said the government would follow the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but the government would announce relief for the power consumers within the next 48 hours. He said the government and the IMF were looking at the electricity bills together.

Kakar said the country was facing a law and order situation, but it was not that acute. He said the rate of inflation was not too high to go for a wheel-jam strike. Clarifying various reports about the use of free electricity, the caretaker prime minister said the army was not using free electricity. He however said that some Wapda officials were using free electricity.

Kakar said the caretaker set-up was holding negotiations with relevant multilateral institutions. “We are discussing several options and the reflections of these options will soon be announced,” the PM said.

The premier’s remarks come as Pakistan faces a host of economic challenges including rising inflation, depreciating rupee and declining market confidence. In recent days, people from across the country have taken to the streets against excessive power bills.