IMF seeks written proposal on relief measures in electricity bills

IMF seeks written proposal on relief measures in electricity bills

IMF seeks written proposal on relief measures in electricity bills

Pakistan has approached IMF for relief measures in bills.

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over proposed relief in electricity bills, BOL News reported citing sources.

Caretaker Finance Minister for Finance Dr Shamshad Akhtar has contacted IMF resident representative Esther Pérez Ruiz over the matter, sources revealed.

The minister briefed on the situation arising from the hike in power tariff and shared proposals for providing relief in electricity bills. The IMF has asked the finance ministry to submit the proposed relief measures in writing before they are approved.

IMF has sought time to provide relief in power bills. The global financial institution has not approved the collection of bills for the month of August in installments spread over the next six months, sources added. The proposal was discussed in the federal cabinet meeting chaired by the interim prime minister.

IMF will consider providing relief to people on power bills. The power division had proposed to collect electricity bills for August in three installments till October, sources said. The payments will be added to the three-month bills after IMF approval.

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It must be mentioned that the federal government also made relief in electricity bills conditional on the IMF’s approval at the cabinet meeting. The finance ministry had given a briefing regarding the IMF approval for relief.

Sources added that several proposals are under consideration keeping in view the ongoing protests across the country and people have threatened not to pay excessive electricity bills.

Speaking to the media, Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar said her main priority is not the IMF but the economy.

The minister said she assured the IMF that Pakistan will abide by the standby agreement. “For me, not IMF but Pakistan’s economy is the priority,” she said.

She said the government will sincerely work for the betterment of the people. She maintained that decades of policies cannot be changed in a day.

She said the government will provide relief to the poor through social security schemes. She added that economic stability and ending the fiscal deficit is important for Pakistan.  She said the concessions given in the power sector have been ongoing for many years.

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