PM Shehbaz Unveils Energy Subsidy for Low-Income Households

PM Shehbaz Unveils Energy Subsidy for Low-Income Households

Islamabad, July 9, 2024 – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced on Tuesday a Rs50-billion energy subsidy package aimed at easing the financial burden on low-income households consuming less than 200 units of electricity.

“For the next three months – July, August, and September – their bills will be reduced to Rs4 to Rs7 per unit,” PM Shehbaz stated.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif highlighted that approximately 92% of domestic consumers would benefit from this relief package. Initially, he mentioned that 94% of consumers would be covered, but later in the press conference, he revised this figure to 92%.

“A total of Rs50 billion will be allocated for this subsidy, sourced from the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) fund. K-Electric consumers will also be included in this scheme,” PM Shehbaz added.

According media reports the government may further reduce the PSDP 2024-25 budget to increase subsidies for protected categories of domestic consumers in response to widespread overbilling issues nationwide.

“This additional cut follows a previous reduction of Rs250 billion from the original Rs1.4 trillion PSDP allocation. These measures are intended to create fiscal space to provide relief to those most affected without jeopardizing the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” reported a media outlet.

Flanked by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, PM Shehbaz emphasized the necessity for the “elite to sacrifice.”

“This package aims to address the challenges faced by the common man,” he said.

The subsidy initiative underscores the government’s commitment to mitigating the financial strain on low-income families amidst the current economic challenges. The inclusion of K-Electric consumers ensures that residents of Karachi also benefit from this relief.

The decision to reallocate PSDP funds reflects a strategic move to balance fiscal priorities while adhering to international financial obligations. By redirecting resources, the government aims to provide immediate relief to those most impacted by rising energy costs.

This energy subsidy package is part of the government’s broader efforts to stabilize the economy and support vulnerable populations. The initiative is expected to provide significant relief to millions of households, helping them manage their utility expenses during the peak summer months.

The Rs50 billion energy subsidy announced by PM Shehbaz Sharif represents a significant step towards supporting low-income households. By addressing the immediate needs of the population while balancing fiscal responsibilities, the government aims to alleviate economic pressures and promote social equity.