Federal Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif has said that the power tariff will go up in the current month, to overcome the financial crunch caused by the circular debt problem. In an interview to the BBC, Khawaja Asif said that the increase would be for industrial and commercial consumers this month, and for domestic consumers in two or three months, while there would be no increase for poor consumers. It seems that he has abandoned the election rhetoric of his party, and adopted realism, especially since recent agreement with the IMF included as a condition that power tariffs be hiked. By blaming the circular debt problem on previous governments giving a subsidy is merely to substantiate the IMF position and to ignore the role of the rental power projects in the sector’s financial difficulties. Withdrawal of that subsidy is one of the key conditions of the IMF, and has been owned by Khawaja Asif, who has said that the government has decided to withdraw that subsidy. While the government has continued all along to proclaim the importance of ending the power crisis for its plan for an economic revolution, the latest example being the agreements being made by its head, Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, during his ongoing visit to China, the decisions of the Ministry have been against this, while being in accordance with the exactions of the IMF. This ignores the fact that power tariffs are regularly hiked to pay for fuel price increases, and to impose any burden on the consumer would be an unexpected imposition. Increasing domestic and industrial tariffs would work directly against the promised economic revolution.The government already went extended itself in trying to satisfy the IMF in the last budget, so far the only one it has presented. Its increase in the GST rate has translated into a fresh round of inflation, with the increase in fuel prices in particular translating into a price hike in all goods which are transported. Thus a power tariff hike will not merely be a burden on the common man, but will be a fresh burden to add to all those already placed upon him. It is no help that the holy month of Ramazan is virtually upon us, and not only would tariff increases burden the fasting public, but would also affect the Eid shopping.Khawaja Asif will not have forgotten that the government's success will be measured primarily on how it tackles the energy crisis plaguing the country. Not just availability, but affordable electricity will also determine that. Therefore, the tariff must be decided in accordance with the needs of the people.