Power tariff hike gets PM’s nod to save IMF deal

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Govt to share revised circular debt reduction plan with foreign lender

ISLAMABAD: With only three days left to end differences, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday gave a go-ahead to increase electricity prices aimed at striking a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which may further push the annual base tariff up by about 33%.

The decision in principle was taken in a meeting held at the Prime Minister House after the IMF did not budge from its earlier stance that Pakistan will have to honour its past commitments. The premier chaired the meeting online, as he was in Lahore.

There might be on an average Rs7.74 per unit increase in the base tariffs but the surge for the upper consumption slabs will be much higher, according to the sources privy to the discussions.

The premier still wanted the Power Division to win back some of the space by convincing the IMF to agree to lower than the demanded increase.

After the PM’s approval, the revised circular debt reduction plan will now be shared with the IMF on Tuesday (today), carrying the details of the increase in prices on account of quarterly and annual base tariff adjustments, said the sources.

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