Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub on Thursday promised to increase the price of electricity by Rs1.95 per unit. Ayub’s announcement came during a presser held with Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Power Tabish Gauhar in Islamabad.
We could jack the prices by Rs2.18 per unit but we did not want to “burden the masses” so we only increased 23 per cent in tariff, said the federal minister for energy Omar Ayub in a joint presser today accompanied by federal planning minister Asad Umer and Prime Minister’s aide on energy Tabish Gauhar.
The minister further said, “We have to somehow overcome the deficit left Furthermore, SAPM Gauhar informed that the government will be shutting down gas supply to power-linked units of the country from February 1. “Agreements with the IPPs [Independent Power Producers] regarding ‘take and pay’ clause will end by the first of next month,” he stated.
Gauhar also announced that the government will shut down the old power plants with a capacity of 3,500 megawatts.
“The past few years have witnessed a drop in the demand for electricity,” the SAPM added. “We are going to initiate a dialogue with the provinces regarding power theft and bill recoveries,” he further observed.
Addressing the presser, Asad Umar said, said Pakistan’s economy has been witnessing an uplift for the past few months and that there has been uplift in the growth and production of the industries.
Umar went on to add that the current account is now in surplus, not under deficit, maintaining that the incumbent. “The government decreased the power tariff for the industries,” he said.
The increase in per unit price came following Gauhar confirming, on January 16, that the federal government was all set to raise electricity tariff amount to roughly Rs2 from this month.
He confirmed that the power tariff “increase is inevitable” in January as it was one of the major conditions laid by the International Monetary Fund for the revival of $6 billion aid programme and the need of the power sector.