Home Latest News P.M. Kakar Claims Electricity Bills Issue ‘Being Exaggerated’

P.M. Kakar Claims Electricity Bills Issue ‘Being Exaggerated’

In media interaction, caretaker claims ‘relief’ plan will be unveiled within 48 hours, emphasizes there is no option but for consumers to pay their bills

by Staff Report

Photo courtesy PID

Interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Thursday described the ongoing unrest over hefty electricity bills as “being exaggerated,” as he claimed that the government will unveil a “relief” plan within the next 48 hours.

In his first interaction with senior journalists since assuming office, the caretaker said the government had conducted a detailed review of the past two months’ worth of electricity bills and had also sought details of how much free electricity was being consumed by various institutions. In this regard, he claimed the military had informed him it did not avail any free electricity and all power consumed by its officials was paid from the military’s budget.

Similarly, he claimed, the consumption of free units within the judiciary was less than had been portrayed on social media. Earlier this year, Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Mushtaq Ahmad had alleged on the floor of the Senate that a retired Supreme Court judge received around 2,000 free units of electricity as part of their perks and privileges. According to Kakar, only WAPDA employees are entitled to free electricity, particularly officers of grades 17-22. He said the government had devised a plan to withdraw this facility but allow some free electricity to be provided to WAPDA employees of grade 16 and below.

Referring to the ongoing protests against electricity bills, which have seen several consumers burn their bills, Kakar stressed that all bills had to be paid in full. “Conditions imposed by the IMF [International Monetary Fund] will be implemented,” he said, explaining that the high tariffs were linked to agreements with independent power producers and line losses. “But we did not realize the repercussions of those contracts which included paying a surcharge,” he said, regretting that past governments had not realized the burden being imposed by a reliance on fossil fuels and imported oil.

Blaming political parties for inciting unrest, he said they were also the people responsible for the prevailing crisis. “From power generation, transmission to distribution, the whole electricity system is flawed and the employees of the power distribution companies are involved in the power theft,” he said. “The interim set-up does not have any ulterior motive, plan or larger-than-life grand ambitions for which we are speaking here,” he said. “We are working with the IMF and looking into the issue of electricity bills. There is inflation but not so much that there should be a shutter-down strike,” he added.

General elections

On general elections, the interim prime minister said they would be held on time as per the schedule to be released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), adding the caretaker government’s role was to facilitate this process. “I am not a constitutional expert but till the Supreme Court gives its interpretation [on the amended Elections Act] then what law has been approved will be followed. Whatever Supreme Court decides on the election date we will respect it,” he said.

He also discussed the resurgence of terrorism, noting militancy had increased following the U.S. exit from Afghanistan. “They have grabbed military equipment left by the U.S. forces and are now using them against Pakistani security forces. But we have firm determination that they have to surrender otherwise will fight till the last militant on our soil,” he added.


Acknowledging the economic turmoil, he claimed the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) could counter it. “We are hoping to receive $60 to 70 billion investment in the next three to five years under the SIFC banner,” he said, claiming 3-4 joint venture agreements with foreign nations would be signed soon.

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