Miftah Ismail wants power relief for all consumers

Awaam Pakistan leader stresses need to alleviate woes of salaried, middle classes

Our Correspondent July 10, 2024
Miftah Ismail speaking at the ‘Reimagining Pakistan’ seminar held at Habib University in Karachi. PHOTO: FILE


Awaam Pakistan Secretary General Miftah Ismail on Tuesday criticised the government’s decision to give “some concessions” to the lifeline consumers of electricity while passing on the burden on others, describing it as “beyond comprehension”.

He believed that the government should also announce a relief package for salaried and middle classes.
“It is the first duty of the government to make the electricity bills easier not only for the poor but also for the salaried and the middle classes,” the former federal finance minister said. “Unfortunately, the government is neglecting this duty,” he added.

The AP leader urged the government to reduce its own massive spending and try to make space for providing relief to salaried and middle class consumers of electricity.

“It is not necessary to increase the expenses by Rs1.40 trillion from Rs700 billion for the PSDP [Public Sector Development Programme]. This money can be used to provide relief.”

Miftah further said the salaried and middle classes of the society had nothing to do with the inflated power bills.

“Why do they [salaried and middle classes] have to bear the brunt of the subsidy for other individuals?”

The AP leader advised the government to reduce the bills of all electricity consumers by cutting down the size of the PSDP.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced a three-month relief for electricity consumers using up to 200 units, categorised as ‘protected’ or lifeline ones.

“The government will give a discount of Rs50 billion to the electricity lifeline consumers in July, August and September. For three months, 25 million consumers of the country will benefit from the government’s relief,” read a post shared on state broadcaster PTV News official account on social media platform X.

It continued that the development would benefit “94% of the country’s domestic consumers” of electricity.


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