Federal Cabinet defers Rs7.99 hike in basic electricity tariff

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has deferred Rs7.99 per unit increase in the basic tariff of electricity.

The federal cabinet met in Islamabad under the chair of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday.

The cabinet paid a tribute to Pakistan Army and concerned ministries and officials on the FATF affair. Prime Minister Shehbaz said that it was due to the joint efforts of all institutions that we were able to come out of the grey list of the international financial watchdog.

The premier also directed all ministers to attend parliament sessions regularly.

The cabinet approved the issuance of domestic and international Sukuk Bonds. The Sukuk Bonds would be released without any legal hindrance against the Makran Highway along Balochistan coast.

It also reduced the price of Remdesivir injection used to treat Covid-19 disease.

The cabinet also felicitated the foreign, industries and finance ministries on the import of palm oil from Indonesia.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari underlined that they had to make important decisions jointly so that public miseries could be mitigated.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail briefed the cabinet on the economic situation. He replied to questions regarding talks with IMF, POL prices in the international market, and taxes.

Mr Ismail said that the increase in petrol prices had nothing to do with the IMF adding that the hike was due to rising global inflation.

The cabinet approved the agenda items.

According to sources, the federal cabinet deferred Rs7.99/unit hike in basic power tariff.

The cabinet was supposed to deliberate on the endorsement of the Economic Coordination Committee decisions. But it dropped the agenda regarding endorsement of the ECC’s June 13 decisions.

The ECC’s June 13 decisions also contained a proposal of increasing basic tariff of electricity.

The cabinet was also briefed about the GSP Plus status of Pakistan.

It also deferred the decision to establish anti-money laundering police stations in different cities of Pakistan.

PM warns of more tough decisions

 While talking to the media after the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the current situation was not less than a challenge. He said that the previous regime had bequeathed an economy to us which was hard to run.

“The previous PTI government has destroyed the economy. It laid a landmine by reducing the prices of petroleum products despite the fact that their rates were rising all over the world,” the premier said adding that his government hiked the petrol prices with a heavy heart.

Taking a dig at the previous regime, he said if the PTI government had reached an agreement with the IMF it should have honoured it.

Shehbaz vowed that his government with the help of its allies would steer the country out of crises. If we have to make difficult decisions for the good of the country, we will go for it, the PM added.

However, the prime minister expressed his hope that the government would overcome the current economic situation and public would be provided relief.

He said the affluent people would be taxed to provide relief to the poor segment of society. He said the government was already giving an additional Rs2,000 financial aid to the BISP-registered families. He hoped that the well-off segment of society would cooperate with the government.