'IMF's sword': Govt withdraws power concessions for farmers
The global lender has laid forth the condition to tap more than $1 billion in funding
LAHORE (Web Desk) - Further being 'trapped into the hands' of the international Monetary Fund (IMF), the Shehbaz-led government has withdrawn power subsidy for the farming community.
The global lender has laid forth the condition to tap more than $1 billion in funding.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced a Kissan Package for the farmers in October 2022 in the wake of the unprecedented flash floods which was later notified by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) in December last year.
However, after providing the subsidy for two months, the government has now discontinued the package with immediate effect owing to the conditions set by the Washington-based lender.
“Federal Cabinet […] has approved the Discontinuation of Kissan Package for base rate relief of Rs3.60/kWh to private agriculture consumers from 1st March 2023,” the notification issued by the Power Division read.
It mentioned that the decision of the federal cabinet was conveyed for immediate implementation and necessary action.
The federal cabinet is expected to collect Rs14 billion by June. It should be noted that the Power Division has written letters in this regard to the K-Electric and other distribution companies.
In concurrence with the announcement, the NEPRA had reduced the power tariff by Rs3.60 per unit at the then-base rate of Rs16.80 after which the farmers were consuming electricity at the base rate of Rs13.
However, after the discontinuation of the facility, agriculture consumers will now pay Rs16.60 in the base rate.