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Power ministry wants end to Rs290 billion subsidy, free electricity

The ministry of water and power wants end to provision of free electricity to members of Parliament, some rich classes and Wapda employees, costing a whopping Rs290 billion.

It has asked for zero subsidies on electricity supply to these classes, saying the power crisis will aggravate manifold in the forthcoming summer season and should be resolved on a top priority basis.

One of the top officials of the ministry stated this on Monday in the meeting of special committee on power crisis headed by MNA Shahid Khakan Abbasi.The meeting deliberated on the ways to resolve the issues of power crisis, circular debt, low recovery of bills and increasing theft of electricity.

Additional secretary of ministry of water and power Arshad Mirza said that any one who enjoys the cool breeze of ACs (air conditioners) in the summer does not deserve any kind of subsidy and all bureaucrats, affluent people, and members of Parliament should not get any subsidy on electricity.

“Political will is required to erase the subsidy on electricity for bureaucrats, affluent class and members of Parliament.” Bushra Gohar, member of the committee demanded, supported the proposal.

The officials of the ministry told the members of the special committee on power crisis that the government is annually extending Rs215.63 billion as subsidy to all kinds of the electricity consumers. The government is extending subsidy of Rs3.97 per unit to domestic consumers and Rs2.48 per unit to commercial consumers, and Rs1.89 per unit to the industrial sector and Rs3.07 per unit to tube wells.

Mr Shahid Khan Abbasi said that power crisis ccould be overcome by raising the power tariff. He said the gap between electricity generation cost and the notified tariff stand at Rs4 per unit so there is need to increase that tariff by Rs4 per unit.

He said that those who use maximum electricity should not be given the subsidy, which should be extended to those who use minimum electricity. Mr Abbasi said in the last 7 months, the volume of subsidy has reached Rs290 billion.

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