ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub has hiked electricity tariffs by Rs1.95 per unit on Thursday which he claimed is due to a hefty circular debt thanks to previous governments.
Omar Ayub, sitting alongside other federal ministers at a news conference here said the rise in tariff was still “much less than the increase which should be done due to the [PML-N government’s] failed policies”.
“Power generation is 43% expensive because of the PML-N,” the energy minister said. “The Nawaz-league signed malicious agreements.”
Ayub, who was the finance minister in the PML-N tenure, said the former government “laid landmines”. “They left a deficit that has to be paid,” he said. “We inherited Rs227 billion deficit until 2019.”
He said the new rates would be applicable once the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) issued a notification.
About the 9th January power breakdown, the minister said eight such breakdowns hit the country in the tenure of the former government.
“Breakdowns occur in major, developed countries as well,” he added.
Criticism by opposition
Soon after the announcement of the power tariff hike, PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz hit out at the Centre, saying that increasing the price of electricity is “the worst form of enmity with the masses.”
“The government did not come to power through people’s votes, that is why it is insensitive to people’s needs,” she said.
Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah also objected to the move and said that the “government is trying to compensate its extravagant spending by increasing electricity prices and burdening the masses.”