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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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FAC waiver only for under 200 units of use

Power Minister Khurram Dastgir on Wednesday said that the recently announced exemption for fuel adjustment charges (FAC) in August’s billing will only apply to consumers who use under 200 units of electricity.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, the power minister said that agricultural electricity users would also be exempted from the charges. “FAC has been eliminated for 17 million users, including farmers and low-income Pakistanis,” Dastgir said, adding that the relief turned out to be Rs22 billion, according to a month’s calculation. The minister said that the relief package was designed keeping in mind the agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

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He said the FAC situation was a “legacy” of the failures of the Imran Khan-led government that still continued and blamed it for not charging FAC on time, thus leading to the current situation. Dastgir said consumers would note that the FAC for September’s bill would be considerably lower. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced the FAC exemption a day ago in a video message from Qatar. Shehbaz had said the FAC was imposed because of high fuel prices in the international market in June, thus the impact was reflected in the July and August bills. Meanwhile, Dastgir had told a private TV channel that the FAC would be adjusted for 17m consumers in their next month’s power bill.

Other relief measures

Speaking on other relief measures, Dastgir reiterated that the fixed tax on traders would be removed and the old system would be reverted to, with some modifications from October. The minister also outlined policy measures for the power sector and said the country would no longer install new power plants that relied on imported fuel, instead, local sources such as wind, solar, nuclear, hydel and coal would be used.

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He said the prime minister would soon announce an “aggressive widescale solar policy” and the government was aiming to complete Thar coal power projects before next summer. Dastgir said the government was also working on restricting and reforming the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority and also finding solutions to curb electricity theft.

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