Monday April 22, 2024

Major relief in power bills from next month

FAC for the upcoming electricity bills would be Rs0.22 per unit, says Khurram Dastgir

By Muhammad Anis
October 08, 2022
File Photo
File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Friday that major relief would be provided to electricity consumers as the government had decided to reduce the fuel adjustment charges (FAC) per unit to less than one rupee.

Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir, while speaking in the House, said that the FAC for the upcoming electricity bills would be Rs0.22 per unit, while in the next bills, it would be kept less than one rupee per unit.

A calling attention notice from the opposition members, including Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and parliamentarians from Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) Ghous Bux Mehar, Saira Bano and Dr. Fahmida Mirza on inflated electricity bills for the month of August was also on the order of the day.

The minister, as per directives of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, said the government had already passed on a total relief of Rs65 billion to consumers using up to 300 units, farmers, industrialists and flood-affected people from the power sector. “We already gave relief of Rs55 billion to consumers while another relief of Rs10 billion is being given to flood-affected people,” he added.

He admitted that the FAC for the month of June increased to Rs10, which now had been reduced considerably to Rs0.22. Minister for Water Resources Syed Khurshid Shah, on a point of order, said politics was not an abuse but it was meant to serve people. “Those who respected the parliament are now sitting in the House, and those who did not take it seriously are no more there,” he said.

The veteran PPP parliamentarian said the members not attending three consecutive sessions should be disqualified. About the devastation caused by the floods, the PPP member said the prime minister should come to the House and speak on the issue. He said the country suffered losses of Rs200 trillion, while 80 per cent of standing crops in Sindh had been destroyed. If water was not drained out immediately, 15 million trees will collapse, causing irreparable loss to the soil and it will also be a danger in future.

GDA Member Ghous Bux Mehar said that they would not be able to cultivate Rabi crops as water up to five feet was still standing on agricultural lands, adding that senior government officials were also not ready to pay heed to their grievances.

Salahuddin of MQM also talked about the devastation caused by floods in the Sindh province. He regretted that Hyderabad city was facing power outages during the month of Rabiul Awwal. He also raised the issue of MQM workers who, according to him, have been missing for the last six to seven years.

Four bills were also introduced in the House on Friday. These include The Pakistan Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2022, The Trade Dispute Resolution Bill, 2022, The Naturalization (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and The Securities and Futures Market Bill, 2022.

The chair referred the bills to the standing committees concerned. The House also passed The Anti-Dumping Duties (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and The Railways (Amendment) Bill, 2022. At the outset, Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf administered oath to the newly-elected Member of the National Assembly Asia Azeem.