Inflated power bills: IMF purportedly disapproves relief plan for masses
LAHORE: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has turned down the electricity relief plan proposed by the caretaker government owing to the difference in the amount fixed for the execution of the plan, sources within the finance ministry reported.
The global money lender, with whom Pakistan signed its bailout package in July this year, has asked for a new plan that would rile the people already affected by the exorbitant electricity bills.
Be reminded that on August 29, interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said the caretaker government was engaging with the IMF regarding relief measures for electricity consumers and an announcement was expected soon.
But the interim PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar told a press conference on August 31 that people would have to pay their utility bills since there was no way around it and negotiations with global lenders on the issue were under way.
Sources told Aaj News that the government has estimated that the relief on the consumers’ bills would have an impact of less than Rs6.5 billion on the revenue collection. But according to the IMF, the plan would have an impact of over Rs15 billion on the revenue collection.
They added that the IMF has sought a plan from Pakistan for filling the financial gap that the country would again send.
This time, they said, the interim government has assured the IMF of not deviating from the budget while providing relief to the people. Moreover, the recommendation to pay bills in installments would be again shared with the lender in discussions.
It merits here to mention that the country had shared the relief plan with them on Friday. The IMF sent the reply after four days.