Govt promises low electricity bill if citizens discontinue gas heating

High international LNG prices ripple through Asian LNG market including Pakistan, which will suffer grave shortages come winter

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government announcing incentives in the form of electricity bill cuts for citizens who shift to electric geysers and heaters instead of gas ones has had several social media users questioning the efficacy of the move.

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said during a Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) broadcast that users who switched to electric heating would be given a relief up to Rs7 per unit in their electricity bills. Chaudhry said that there was a nationwide shortage of gas and a surplus of electricity which prompted PTI to take the decision.

A Twitter user responded to Chaudhry’s statement and said that there should be emphasis on strengthening power transmission lines if citizens were being encouraged to use electrical heating solutions in winter.

Another could not get behind the idea and wondered why electricity was becoming costlier if the country had a surplus of the energy source.

PTI’s announcement came a week after reports that Pakistan would likely suffer high levels of gas shortage in the winter due to soaring prices of the liquified natural gas (LNG) internationally. LNG shortages in Europe have had a ripple effect in the Asian market as prices continue to skyrocket in the region.

A report in Al-Jazeera last week said that although Pakistan may be mildly protected as it imported gas on long-term contracts, it still might not be able to afford the high prices in the coming winter months as a developing country.