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Pak caretaker PM holds emergency meeting over inflated electricity bills

Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said that the meeting was held at the PM's office in Islamabad and it went for over two hours

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Amid country-wide protests over inflated power bills, Pakistan Interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar held an emergency meeting on Sunday over the rising issue of electricity rates and inflated consumer bills, reported Dawn.
Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said that the meeting was held at the PM's office in Islamabad and it went for over two hours.
The details of the meeting would be shared in a press release that will be shared shortly, he added, according to Dawn.
As per the prior statement from Pakistan's PMO office, consultations will be held during the meeting regarding giving maximum relief to consumers regarding electricity bills.
Kakar decided to conduct the emergency meeting as protests have been going on in cities across the country due to the increased electricity bills on the back of a significant increase in the national average tariff.
According to Dawn, the premier will seek briefings from the power division as well as power distribution companies (Discos), to provide "maximum relief to consumers" in this regard.
Moreover, the government has also made a plan to withdraw subsidised electricity availed by Discos and government officers in grades 17 and above.
Earlier on Saturday, Solangi held a meeting with Power Division Secretary Rashid Mahmood Langrial and discussed the ongoing concern about inflated electricity bills.
Information Minister Solangi also confirmed that the free electricity units provided to Discos officers would be discontinued as well and the "summary to take back the facility of free electricity to grade 17 and above officers would be presented in the next cabinet meeting".
Earlier a protest in Karachi, which was also supported by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) seeks a reduction in the ever-increasing electricity prices and additional taxes imposed through power bills.
Addressing the protesters, JI's Karachi Amir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, warned that if the government continues to burden the public, the situation could further deteriorate. "Our struggle is against the white-collar mafia in KE," he affirmed, underscoring the commitment to represent the people's interests, reported The Express Tribune.
The protest was also staged in Pakistan's Rawalpindi where the protesters raised slogans against Islamabad Electric Supply company.
The publication reported that protests were also staged in Lahore, Attock, Peshawar, Quetta, Taunsa, Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Rahim Yar Khan and Multan against the inflated electricity bills. A large number of people participated in the demonstrations.
Earlier, a report pointed out that Pakistan is burdened with costly plants and commitments that people have been struggling to pay for, The News International reported.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Aug 27 2023 | 9:27 PM IST

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