We didn’t ask Pakistan to hike power tariff: IMF

Published: November 15, 2010
Official says RGST implementation is a prerequisite to qualify for $1.7b tranche

Official says RGST implementation is a prerequisite to qualify for $1.7b tranche

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that it has not asked Pakistan to increase electricity tariff as this is something the country has to decide itself. “The IMF has only asked Pakistan to solve the issues related to the energy crisis in consultation with the World Bank and the IMF,” it said.

The IMF authorities have maintained that the introduction of the RGST bill in parliament marks the start of implementation of conditions agreed with the Fund and that they have told the Pakistani officials that the step has strengthened their hand.

They said the IMF review mission will recommend issuing the next tranche to Pakistan in its report. However, presentation of the RGST bill in parliament will not suffice as it will also have to be implemented in order for Islamabad to qualify for the $1.7b loan installment.

A senior IMF official, while talking to Express, rejected the notion that Pakistan was increasing the electricity tariff to fulfill the demands of the Fund. He said the Fund has only asked Islamabad to sit with the two Brettonwood institutions to solve the power sector problems while increase in the electricity tariff was its own issue.

He pointed out that the IMF has no expertise in power sector and whatever is needed to be done is Pakistan’s own decision. He said that IMF only identifies problems in its capacity as a donor.

When approached, finance secretary Salman Siddiqi endorsed the IMF’s standpoint and said that the reformed GST has been presented in parliament and, since under the law a mini bill has to be approved within 14 days, the standing committee of the Senate will present its report in 14 days followed by its expected approval. He said the meeting of the Senate’s standing committee on finance will be held on November 22 and it will review the text of the RGST bill.

Replying to a question he said that if the RGST bill is approved by the parliament before December 5, a staff report can be circulated within the stipulated period of 12 days for the provision of $1.7 b tranche and Pakistan’s case can be presented in the meeting of the executive board of the IMF which is due on December 17.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Nov 15, 2010 - 9:15AM

    According to the honest technical experts in power generation, there is no shortfall of electricity in the country and whatever the shortfall is made, it is an artificial creation of power companies and the government to create problems for the masses.

    Since it has come from the horse’s mouth that IMF does not have technical expertise in electricity and raising the electricity tariff, it is evident that power generating companies along with the government are increasing electricity tariff to earn revenues which has become an absolute burden on the common man.

    It is unfortunate that the political leadership is not sincere with the masses that brought the government in power and the same government is ripping off the common man.

    How can the govt expect that people will bring them back again in power, when it has made the life of a common man miserable?Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Nov 15, 2010 - 11:00AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.IMF officials have revealed real hypocritical face and statements based on falsehood of our corrupt and NRO certified leaders of getting more and more conditional-based aid and loans from IMF by increasing electricity tariffs and this IMF statement clearly shows that our present corrupt and NRO certified PPPP leaders increased electricity tariffs for their own interests and benefits to make the whole nation’s life more and more difficult,problematic,miserable and coerced the middle and lower class related common man to commit suicides and selling children.Now still they are dreaming for their next regime after the next general elections also.How much more the nation shall face the music and pay the price of the corrupt and NRO certified leaders’ and their army of ministers,advisers and bureaucrats kingly life style and how can they expect that the nation shall elect them for next regime once again after the next general elections?What the funny,strange and amazing statements and bases of increasing electricity tariffs @2% per month by our corrupt and NRO certified PPPP leaders!Now the nation must understand and know that how much more our corrupt and NRO certified PPPP leaders are hypocrite and deceiver?Recommend

  • Yousaf
    Nov 15, 2010 - 2:04PM

    if we could stop stealing & theft…there will be plenty of electricity available and cheaper. Recommend

  • Jafakush
    Nov 15, 2010 - 2:26PM

    This is a new trick. Own the utility company via a shadow company (you can check the directors, they have lot of bankers in there) and increase tariff since people are not paying enough taxes to pay for interest on usurious loans to corrupt government.

    Then lie about we did not ask for utilities charges to be increased.Recommend

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