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Saturday April 20, 2024

'Temporarily' sigh of relief as interim govt decides against increasing gas tariff

ECC had approved massive increase in gas prices following IMF demands regarding energy sector's circular debt

By Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
October 30, 2023
The ECC earlier approved increasing the local gas tariff up to 173% for non-protected domestic consumers, 136.4% for commercial, 86.4% for export, and 117% for the non-export industry. — AFP/File
The ECC earlier approved increasing the local gas tariff up to 173% for non-protected domestic consumers, 136.4% for commercial, 86.4% for export, and 117% for the non-export industry. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government Monday temporarily decided against increasing the gas tariff providing much-needed relief to the people who are facing the brunt of skyrocketing utility bills amid ballooning inflation in the country.

During a cabinet meeting chaired by Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, the executive body also directed the relevant authorities to review the gas price hike that was scheduled to be implemented on November 1.

It is pertinent to mention that following the International Monetary Fund's(IMF) demand to address the energy sector's increasing circular debt, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) last week approved a massive tariff hike of up to 193% last week.

In the case of the cabinet's approval today, non-protected domestic consumers would have seen the gas tariff increased up to 173%, 136.4% for commercial, 86.4% for export, and 117% for the non-export industry.

Following the ECC's nod, the fixed monthly charges for protected consumers were increased from Rs10 to Rs400, for non-protected from Rs460 to Rs1,000 and for higher slabs up to Rs2,000.

Additionally, according to sources, the cabinet also approved the "Hajj Policy 2024" along with the establishment of an "anti-human smuggling station" by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

The forum also made key decisions pertaining to the implementation of the caretaker government's decision to expel illegal foreigners residing in the country after the November 1 deadline.

The police, along with other authorities concerned have been directed to apprehend illegal foreigners residing in the country, the sources added.

Furthermore, convicted aliens, those involved in minor offences along with the ones under trial will also be deported.

Meanwhile, illegal foreigners involved in heinous crimes will not be expelled.