17m power consumers exempted from fuel adjustment charges

Published August 24, 2022
DOHA: Qatar Investment Authority CEO Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud meets Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday.—White Star
DOHA: Qatar Investment Authority CEO Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud meets Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday.—White Star

• PM says body formed to fix responsibility on those who imposed fixed tax on traders against govt policy
• Invites Qataris to invest in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: In view of the severe reaction from the general public and traders, the government on Tuesday exempted over 17 million electricity consumers from fuel adjustment charges (FAC) and traders from the fixed tax.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, soon after arriving in Qatar’s capital Doha on a two-day official visit on Tuesday, announced that 17.1 million power consumers will be exempted from paying the high FCA in their electricity bills.

He said he had formed a committee to fix the responsibility on those who had imposed the fixed tax on traders against the government’s decision and policy. The government will bear a gap of Rs42 billion by withdrawing the fixed tax, he added.

“Of the total 30 million electricity consumers, 17 million have been removed from FAC bracket and the rest of 13 million are well-off people but the government will also facilitate them,” the prime minister said.

Accompanied by a group of federal ministers at the Doha Airport, PM Sharif said Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir will apprise the nation in a press conference on Wednesday (today) how the benefit of a decline in fuel prices at the international level will be passed on to the consumers.

Meanwhile, Mr Dastgir told a private TV channel that the FAC will be adjusted for 17 million consumers in their next month’s power bill.

The prime minister said the FAC was imposed because of high fuel prices in the international market in June, thus the impact was reflected in the July and August bills.

“Unfortunately we have to consult over everything with the IMF [International Monetary Fund] under an agreement [inked by the last government]. We thus consulted IMF, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and other coalition leaders and it was decided that 17.1m electricity consumers should not pay the FCA,” he added. The exemption would also apply to 300,000 tube well users.

Qatar visit

Earlier, PM Sharif was accorded a red-carpet reception in Doha on his first visit to the country since assuming the office, for holding “in-depth consultations” with the leadership and interacting with the business community to highlight Pakistan’s investment potential. He was received by Qatar’s Minister of Transport Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti.

According to the Foreign Office, the two sides will review the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on advancing energy-related cooperation, deepening trade and investment ties, and exploring greater employment opportunities for Pakistanis in Qatar.

The PM also invited investors from Qatar to invest in Pakistan’s energy, aviation, agriculture, livestock, maritime, tourism and hospitality sectors. He also urged the investors to explore the opportunities presented by CPEC.

The prime minister invited Qatar Investment Authority chief Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud and its Asia-Pacific & Africa investments chief Sheikh Faisal Thani Al-Thani to visit Pakistan at their earliest convenience to build on the momentum generated by the visit.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2022

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