'How will poor survive?’ asks Maryam after govt raises power tariff

GNN  |  Jan 21, 2021

Lahore: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz on Thursday lashed out at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government after it announced to raise electricity price. In a couple of tweets, she termed the latest surge in power tariff worst enmity with public, adding that fuel and electricity prices directly affect the rates of essential items.

پٹرول بم گرانے کے ایک ہفتے کے اندر بجلی کی قیمتوں میں اضافہ بدترین عوام دشمنی ہے۔ پٹرول اور بجلی کی قیمتوں کا اثر ضروریات زندگی کے تمام اشیا پر ہوتا ہے۔کیا حکومت نے عوام کو اس قابل چھوڑا ہے کہ وہ نااہلی کے عذاب کا ہر ہفتے مقابلہ کرسکیں ؟ غریب کیسے زندہ رہے؟

— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) January 21, 2021 He asked if the government has left the people capable of facing the scourge of incompetence every week.

“How will the poor survive?” she questioned.

She called the premier master of looting the people, adding that every moment of the PTI government is proving heavy on citizens.

Maryam said that an unelected government did not have feelings for people. In another tweet, she remarked, "Government of the mafias, for the mafias, by the mafias".

The federal government on Wednesday announced to increase the electricity price by Rs1.95 per unit as it is making effort to restore the loan program with International Monetary Funds (IMF).

Addressing a press conference along with Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Energy Asad Umar said that the decision would put a burden of Rs200 billion on public already facing inflation.

The development comes a month after Prime Minister Imran Khan go-ahead for the surge in the power tariff by 25% or Rs3.34/unit, a long-standing demand of the global lender for reviving the discontinued loan programme.

The government has chose to stagger the surge in power tariff over the next two quarters instead of increasing the price in one go.

The $6 billion programme was stalled for ten months as Pakistan was reluctant to accept the conditions of the IMF related to power tariff and taxes.

In 2019, the IMF agreed to provide $6 billion loan for three years under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme to Pakistan when it was struggling to overcome economic crisis.

So far, Pakistan has secured $1.44 billion under the loan program and it was hoping to get second instalment of the loan but talks about second review with IMF in March remained inconclusive.

On December 14, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has increased electricity rates by Rs. 1.11 per unit for one month.

The rates have been increased in lieu of fuel price adjustment. The consumers will have to pay additional charges in December.

In November, the electricity tariffs have been increased by Rs. 0.48 per unit for one month.

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