PM Shehbaz waives off fuel adjustment charges to 300 units of electricity consumption Shehbaz Sharif urged all political parties to set aside their political differences and come forward to help the flood victims.

PM Shehbaz waives off fuel adjustment charges to 300 units of electricity consumption

Instructs finance minister to exempt flood-hit areas from electricity bills

Directs PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah Khan to constitute teams & dispatch relief goods to flood victims

ISLAMABAD ( Web News )

Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has announced an exemption in charges under the head of FAC [fuel adjustment charges] for consumers who used up to 300 electricity units.

Addressing the lawmakers belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in Islamabad on Thursday, PM Shehbaz Sharif said that around 75% electricity consumers will get relief in their August bill.

Amid protests over the inflated electricity bills, he admitted that relief on 200 units’ electricity bills was insufficient “as the middle class has been eroded due to inflation.” The government was unable to take independent economic decisions due to International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, he added.

He remarked, “How unfortunate is this that we are not independent to take [economic] decisions?” and added that the country needed to become self-sufficient to achieve prosperity. “This should be our last IMF programme if we have to stay alive,” he wished.

He asked the Finance Minister Dr. Miftah Ismail Ahmed to exempt electricity bills for households in flooded areas of the country.

He cited how a bureaucrat sitting inside the Prime Minister House during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman’s tenure advised Imran Khan to raise oil prices before his government was ousted.

Lambasting the Imran Khan-led government for not abiding by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement, PM Shehbaz Sharif explained why the coalition government had to raise oil prices despite a significant reduction in world prices. PM Shehbaz Sharif said he was quite worried regarding increasing the oil prices again that would hurt the public’s sentiment.

“He (Imran) does not have any brains (a blessing from God) and that is why he approved the reduction in oil prices,” he said. The Prime Minister said he couldn’t fathom how Imran Khan instructed the former finance minister to convince Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to declare that a provincial surplus will not be possible in a bid to sabotage the IMF programme.

“He (Imran) had a free hand, and he destroyed the country to the core,” Premier Shehbaz said. “Imran used to spend time discussing what should be done to Maryam Nawaz, myself, Rana Sanaullah and Khawaja Saad Rafique in jail.”

PM Shehbaz said Imran used to pass messages to make Maryam sleep on the jail’s floor. “He even gave a tough time to Asif Ali Zardari’s sister, Dr. Faryal Talpur.” He added that the PTI chief deliberately did not purchase wheat at a cheaper rate.

Commenting on the flood situation throughout the country, the prime minister expressed how devastated he was because of the lives lost, and the damage inflicted.

He thanked the international community and brotherly countries for lending assistance to Pakistan.

The PML-N president also cited how a go-ahead was given for the early execution of 10,000 megawatts solar energy project to reduce the import bill of costly diesel and furnace oil.

PM Shehbaz recalled that when his government came to power, it faced a myriad of problems because of the PTI government. “During Covid, gas across the world was being sold at the price of peanuts.

“But they [the PTI] did not purchase it, neither long-term nor short-term. And then the oil mafia became influential leading to expensive production of electricity in Pakistan,” he claimed.

And when the Ukraine crisis occurred, the prime minister went on, the government had to purchase “extremely expensive” oil and produce electricity from it.

“We lead a life of debt […] we add money to it […] make the electricity cheaper and provide it to the common man,” he said.

“This is the drama that was created in the country. Lies were spilt and we were brought to a never-before-seen stage, whether it was related to the livelihood of people or anything else.”

The premier continued that these were the conditions in which the incumbent government came to power. “Today, even for the FAC adjustment we had to first take permission from the IMF. “But let me tell you, nations don’t survive this way,” he added.

PM Shehbaz continued that today was the time the nation had to decide between the “truth and false”.

Meanwhile, the prime minister regretted the recent Rs2.07 increase in petrol prices and called it a “painful reality” that the nation had to face today. “It was not in our control.”

The PM said that he was up all night yesterday and allowed the increase in the most “human way” possible.

“We calculated everything carefully, and the Rs2 increase is the least increase I could manage,” he said, adding that such were the difficulties that the incumbent government was facing today.

He recalled that this year the government had to purchase oil worth over $20 billion.

“But, despite all of it, I want to tell you that we won’t lose hope,” he promised, calling on the ministers to stay committed during the hard times.

Talking about the catastrophic floods, PM Shehbaz said that he had never seen such a calamity before. “Water has wreaked havoc everywhere from Sukkur to Jaffarabad.” In Kalam and Swat, he pointed out, buildings had been washed away and all the tourist areas showed a sight of devastation. “But let me tell you that all the teams […] the NDMA and everyone else are working day and night to rehabilitate and rescue the flood affectees.”

Furthermore, he highlighted that all the victims were being given Rs25,000 as compensation via the Benazir Income Support Programme. “And this amount will increase.”

Similarly, a Rs15 billion grant had been given to Sindh, while Rs10 billion had been announced for Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the premier reiterated.

He highlighted that crops had been damaged and houses had been reduced to rubble, saying that the government needed money for rehabilitation.

Talking about the previous government, the premier said that it allowed the export of sugar so it could earn dollars and also subsidised it. “By proving subsidies worth billions of rupee, the previous [PTI-led] government has embezzled hard-earned money of the Pakistanis,” he added.

He said Pakistan is facing an unprecedented situation due to floods. He said government will make all out efforts to provide relief to flood affected people.

Commenting on the UN Flash Appeal to help flood affected people of Pakistan, the Prime Minister thanked friendly countries for their generous support in this regard.

He advised the PML-N lawmakers to visit flood victims and offer them all possible support. He directed PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah Khan to constitute teams and dispatch relief goods to flood victims. He urged the parliamentarians of his party to remain present in the flood hit areas to offer solace to the affected people.

Shehbaz Sharif urged all political parties to set aside their political differences and come forward to help the flood victims.