Energy ministry finalizes recommendations on bills

Recommendations would be forwarded to the Federal Cabinet, scheduled to meet on Tuesday for approval, says minister.

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi on Monday said that the Ministry of Energy had finalized recommendations related to the electricity bills.

The recommendations were finalized in a high-level meeting held at the Ministry of Energy, the minister said while posting a news release of the ministry on X (formerly known as Twitter).

According to his post, the recommendations would be forwarded to the Federal Cabinet, scheduled to meet on Tuesday, for approval.

Meanwhile, protesters took to the streets across the country for the fourth day today to show their anger at the exorbitant bills. 

In Peshawar, citizens blocked Kohat Road, saying that electricity had become too expensive even though they were suffering hours-long loadshedding. The protesters also burned tyres and chanted slogans against the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco).

A demonstration was also held in Charsadda as protesters blocked Farooq Azam Chowk and chanted slogans against the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda).

“The increase in electricity prices has broken the backs of the poor. The people cannot afford more taxes,” one of the protestors said.

Citizens in Battagram blocked the Karakoram Highway on the call of the president of the traders’ union. Protesters blocked the highway at Khatmi Nabuwat Chowk for traffic and shouted slogans against the government for sending them inflated electricity bills.

President of the traders’ union, Abdul Ghaffar Deshani, said the people would not accept the inclusion of more taxes in power bills as they were already paying more than they could afford.

He said that government was trying to save face and was “hiding its incompetency” by burdening consumers.

Kako, a trader and union leader, said that people were paying taxes that did not fall on their shoulders. He said that the burden of new taxes would paralyse their businesses.

In Rawalpindi, protests were staged outside the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) offices. Citizens burned their bills and chanted slogans against the government as people surrounded the Bakra Mandi grid station.

“They are sucking our blood in the name of taxes,” one protestors said. “Neither will we pay these bills nor will we let them cut our electricity,” another added.

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