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ECC decides to defer electricity price hike until next meeting

ISLAMABAD: The meeting of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Tuesday concluded with a decision to keep the power tariffs unchanged until the next session of the committee.

According to details, Finance Minister Asad Umer chaired the meeting to mull over the increase in electricity price and decided to deliberate on the difficult decision in the upcoming meeting of the ECC.

Moreover, the government consented the provision of LNG to industries during the session.

The federal government also directed the authorities to ensure uninterrupted supply of gas to the export sector throughout the winters.

The PTI government has twice deferred the decision of power tariffs hike, however, the move can not be delayed any more considering the conditions of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan program, as per the experts.

The surge in power price is the basic and foremost condition put forwarded by the IMF through which the government will receive Rs400 billion monthly from the consumers.

Previously, the Economic Coordination Committee had approved the hike in gas tariff while reducing the import tax on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to ten per cent.

In the line of the decision taken by the committee, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) later notified the public of an increase in gas tariff up to 143 percent, effective from September 27.

According to OGRA’s notification, gas price for CNG sector was increased by 40 percent.

For power generation companies, the gas price was hiked by 57 percent, while for the rest of the industries it went up by 40 per cent.

For fertiliser companies, gas prices soared by 40 to 50 percent.

Petroleum Minister Chaudhry Ghulam Sarwar justified the rise in gas price and said the government had divided consumers into three categories and domestic consumers will not be hit hard by the hike in gas tariff.

“The consumers were previously divided into three slabs i.e lower middle class, middle class, upper class and there was no pricing distinction; now we have just increased the price for middle and lower middle class’ by 15 to 20 percent which means if they paid 252 rupees in past, now they will pay Rs275 only,” said the minister.

 

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