Amid widespread protests over steep electricity bills, the Interim Prime Minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, announced on Thursday that his administration would reveal a relief strategy for those affected by inflation within the next 48 hours.
Kakar provided this assurance during a discussion with senior journalists at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Prime Minister stated that his government meticulously reviewed electricity bills over the past two months. He mentioned that all institutions were queried about their usage of complimentary electricity, emphasizing that the issue of electricity bills was being blown out of proportion.
He conveyed, “The electricity bills must be settled, and the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be adhered to.”
Kakar attributed the elevated electricity bills to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and power transmission losses, asserting that collaborative efforts with the IMF were underway to address this matter. He acknowledged the presence of inflation but believed it wasn’t severe enough to warrant a widespread shutdown.
Furthermore, Kakar addressed the topic of free electricity units allocated to government departments and officials. He confirmed that military personnel were not benefiting from complimentary electricity; the expenses were covered by the defense budget.
Regarding the judiciary, he clarified that no members were receiving free electricity. In the context of Wapda (Water and Power Development Authority), he explained that only a limited number of employees, specifically those in grades 1-16, were entitled to complimentary electricity, whereas officers above grade 17 were granted free electricity units.
Kakar’s viewpoint centered on the fact that most of the protests were originating from employees in grades 1-16. He proposed “Offering financial compensation to officers in grades 17-22 rather than providing them with free electricity units.”