Inflated electricity bills a national crisis, say senators

Members of Senate committee want details about owners of IPPs.

ISLAMABAD: Amid continued unrest over inflated power bills across the country, the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat termed the issue a national crisis.

Taking serious notice of the hike in electricity prices, the committee noted that a number of suicide cases linked to excessive billing have been reported from different areas.

Committee Chairman Rana Maqbool Ahmad, who belongs to PML-N, stated that a proposal has been forwarded to the power sector regulator to withdraw all taxes on electricity bills, at least for the underprivileged class.

The committee decided to receive a briefing from National Electric Power Regulatory Authority Chairman Waseem Mukhtar on the pricing mechanism. 

“We have to adopt a proactive approach, and the committee should know details about owners of the independent power producers,” Senator Ahmad said.

Committee member Kamil Ali Agha expressed the view that since this was a national dilemma, and people of Pakistan were suffering due to a serious economic crisis, relief should be given to the masses at this stage.

The committee was briefed by officials of the power division that a total of 164 fatalities occurred in various power distribution companies (Discos) due to accidents in the fiscal year 2022-23, along with 106 non-fatal injuries.

The committee sought further details on the recent cases of casualties and injuries caused by electrocution and substandard domestic electrical wiring in various Discos, and measures adopted to avoid fatal incidents.

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