Cabinet confirms concessional winter power tariff

The government on Tuesday approved the seasonal concessional electricity package for domestic and commercial consumers for the off-peak November-February period, granting a concession of up to Rs7/unit.

This concession will be available to these power consumers on the additional units of power consumed in given month over same month of the last year, according to an official handout.

Minister for Energy (Power Division) Hammad Azhar announced this decision of the cabinet through a tweet saying: “The cabinet has approved the seasonal electricity package. Any additional electricity consumed by domestic and commercial consumers during Nov-Feb period compared to same time previous year will have a discount of Rs 5-7 per each unit.”

The cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

An official of the Power Division said the government had taken the decision to cut gas demand during these months by making electricity consumption feasible than gas, as gas demand was almost double than local production, while the skyrocketed LNG price in international market was also a challenge.

“Besides, it will also lessen financial burden on the national kitty by saving billions of rupees spent as capacity payments to power generators, especially IPPs (Independent Power Producers), while the pace of circular debt accumulation would also reduce as idle capacity would come in use in winter,” the official said.

The industrial sector is already enjoying this facility under industrial support package since November 2020.

In Pakistan, during winter, the power demand reduces to half than that of summer. Most of the private generators remain closed owing to low power demand, but still the government pays the capacity charges to these generators.

Meanwhile, addressing a presser following the cabinet meeting, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said the high-level cell, formed under an inspection commission to probe over 700 Pakistanis named in the Pandora Papers, had been categorised into different sections.

“Initially, the PM Inspection Commission, under which a cell has been created, will look at the 3-4 categories,” said Chaudhry. “This includes Pakistanis who have offshore companies and have declared them; those who have offshore companies but have not declared them.

Similarly, those who have not revealed their offshore companies in the wealth declaration; and those who have laundered money,” the minister said, adding that different arms of the government including the Federal Board of Revenue, Federal Investigation Agency, and the National Accountability Bureau would conduct the investigations falling within their purviews.

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