Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif extended the exemption for fuel adjustment costs (FAC) in August invoicing to subscribers who use less than 300 units of power on Thursday.
The exception, which was announced on August 23, previously only applied to consumers who used 200 units of power or fewer.
“This will cover 75% of the country’s customers,” the prime minister remarked of the new exemption during a meeting with PML-N members in Islamabad.
“In the first stage, power customers utilizing 200 units [or less] were spared, and the government bore an Rs21 billion burden [for that].” After that, however, it only covered 48 or 52 percent of the customers.
“I feel this [waiver] will be significant once we expand it to 300 units,” he remarked.
PM Shehbaz recalled that when his government took office, it faced many issues due to the PTI government.
“During Covid, gas was sold at peanut prices worldwide.”
“However, they [the PTI] did not buy it, neither long-term nor short-term.” “And then the oil mafia gained influence, resulting in expensive electricity production in Pakistan,” he stated. And, when the Ukraine issue arose, the government was forced to purchase “costly” oil and generate electricity from it, according to the prime minister. “We live in debt […] we add money to it […] we make electricity cheaper and supply it to the average guy,” he explained.
“This is the drama that was born in the country.” Lies were spilled, and we were brought to an unprecedented level, whether it was connected to people’s livelihoods or anything else.”
The prime minister went on to say that these were the circumstances under which the current government was elected. “Today, even for the FAC adjustment, we had to get clearance from the IMF first.” “However, nations do not endure in this manner,” he concluded.
‘We have a chance to stand on our own after the IMF pact.’
When asked about the resumption of the critical International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, Prime Minister Shehbaz remarked that only after its success will Pakistan be able to stand on its own.
“I was seated in a meeting when the finance minister told me the news [of the IMF bailout plan], so I told him in front of everyone that Pakistan had been saved from default,” he explained.
But, as the prime minister pointed out, this was not a happy occasion. “It is not good since Pakistan is incurring more debt.” At the very least, we were protected from a default, which Imran Khan desired.”
Following that, he cited Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Khan Jagra’s letter to the finance division, claiming that it demonstrated the PTI chief’s plan to ruin the country’s fate.
“Is there a harsher way to display hatred for the country than a man who gets letters written solely so the IMF program can fail?”
The prime minister expressed gratitude for the IMF arrangement while also stating that Pakistan could not be led in the manner Imran did during the last 3.5 years.
“And an institution nurtured him in ways that have no precedent in 75 years.” God will find a way to dissolve the level to which he was supported […] if a cult has formed.
PM Shehbaz said that today was the day for the nation to choose between “truth and falsehood.”
‘Petrol prices are an unpleasant reality.’
Meanwhile, the prime minister expressed concern over the recent Rs2.07 increase in gas prices, describing it as a “difficult reality” that the country has to confront today.
“We had no control over it.”
The Prime Minister stated that he was awake all night yesterday and permitted the hike in the most “humane” manner imaginable.
“We analyzed everything thoroughly, and the Rs2 rise is the smallest increase I could achieve,” he remarked, adding that the present government was having difficulties today.
He noted that the government had to acquire oil for more than $20 billion this year.
“But, despite everything, I want to assure you that we will not lose hope,” he declared, urging ministers to remain dedicated during the difficult times.
“Historically significant floods”
When asked about the devastating floods, Prime Minister Shehbaz remarked he had never seen anything like it. “Water has caused devastation from Sukkur to Jaffarabad.”
He said buildings had been washed away in Kalam and Swat, and all tourist spots were in shambles. “However, let me assure you that all the teams […] the NDMA and everyone else are working around the clock to rehabilitate and rescue flood victims.”
Furthermore, he stated that all victims received Rs25,000 in compensation through the Benazir Income Support Programme. “And this figure will rise.”
Similarly, Sindh received an Rs15 billion allocation, while Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa received Rs10 billion, the prime minister added.
He emphasized that crops had been harmed and homes had been turned to rubble, and he stated that the government required funds for restoration.