ISLAMABAD - A good news to the inflation-hit masses is that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had forbid the water and power ministry from jacking up power tariff of domestic and agri consumers of electricity from October 1.

By the end of July, water and power minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif while addressing a news conference in the premises of power ministry had announced that to phase out power sector’s subsidy, the government would increase the tariff for industrial and commercial consumers from August 1, and for domestic consumers using over 200 units per month from October 1. And, the government made up to 116 percent hike in the tariff in its first phase of rationalisation of the tariff plan ahead of Eidul Fitr while as per initial plan, the power tariff of domestic and agri consumers was to go up ranging between 30 per cent and 70 per cent from October 1 in second phase and the consumers was expected to face an increase by Rs3 to Rs6 per unit, depending on which category they fall in.

Informed sources in the ministry told that following the verbal orders of premier to stop giving further consumers per unit hike in the tariff of domestic and agri, the ministry of water & power had stopped initiating further process necessary in this regard. And, there would be no hike from October 1 for over burdened domestic and agri consumers of the country. They also informed that a decision about increase in the tariff of domestic consumers would be taken later and the current tariff of agri consumers was expected to stay intact at present level during next 8 months. They also said that around 70 per cent raise in the tariff was recommended which now had been withdrawn till next orders.

Meanwhile, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has approved decrease in the electricity tariff by Re 0.30 per unit on account of fuel adjustment charges for the month of July, and the consumers would get benefit in next month’s bill.

Official at Nepra said revision in reference tariff mechanism, and rise in hydropower generation were the main cause behind reduction in power tariff.

It is worth mentioning that the incumbent federal government of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) in its bid to seek more loans from IMF had agreed with the fund that it would give complete end to heavy subsidy of the power sector during its constitutional tenure. And, the incumbent regime after getting loan is leaving no stone unturned to end cheap electricity for the over burdened masses already bearing heavy brunt of sky rocketing power prices coupled with hours long unscheduled power outages for a long time.