Good News – IESCO Introduces Installment Plans and More Relief for Consumers

Good News - IESCO Introduces Installment Plans and More Relief for Consumers

IESCO, the Islamabad Electric Supply Company, has introduced installment plans for customers facing challenges in paying full electricity bills, as reported by ARYNews.

In response, an IESCO spokesperson stated that the company issued a directive to introduce installment plans and extend due dates to accommodate customer convenience. 

Customers are urged to contact Sub-Divisional Offices, Revenue Offices, or Customer Service Centers for inquiries.

Below is the detailed per-unit cost of electricity as mentioned on the IESCO website.

Electricity per unit cost in Pakistan 2023
Image Credit: IESCO

Nationwide Protests

Inflated power bills have sparked nationwide protests, particularly in Karachi and Khyber regions. Demonstrators demand relief from excessively high bills and an end to free electricity for notable individuals. 

Protests have occurred in areas including Ayesha Manzil, Korangi, Five Star Chowrangi, and Yaseenabad, with people expressing dissatisfaction by setting their electricity bills on fire.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar chaired an emergency meeting to discuss rising power bills. During the meeting, the rise in July power bills was discussed, and the caretaker PM directed the timely presentation of power sector reforms and plans. 

He also requested details of officers and institutions availing free electricity.

In response to protests, interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi revealed engagement with the IMF regarding relief measures for electricity consumers. The federal cabinet discussed Ministry of Energy recommendations to reduce high electricity bills, aiming to provide short-, medium-, and long-term relief.

Solangi highlighted that certain decisions would impact IMF implications and that talks were ongoing. He expected an announcement soon, addressing concerns without affecting primary surplus and circular debt. The IMF’s demand for tariff increase has already led to the rise in base power tariff.

The interim government is set to provide relief to the public amid protests. Conversion of bills into installments and adjustments in winter months due to lower consumption are being considered. Taxes might be reduced and one-slab benefits extended, while free electricity units for institutions may be withdrawn.

A Final Decision is Awaited

Currently, power companies struggle with declining consumption, leading to additional capacity charges being shifted to consumers.

Nepra’s public hearing discussed additional quarterly tariff adjustments and proposed staggered imposition.

Despite discussions, various considerations, and meetings, the federal cabinet remained undecided on relief for inflated electricity bills. The cabinet directed the Energy Division to formulate a relief procedure but could not make a final decision. Consultation with the IMF is considered a hurdle to providing relief.

While addressing the issue, Prime Minister Kakar directed a prompt presentation of power sector reforms and plans and requested details of those availing free electricity. Detailed consultations on excess bills and energy-saving measures were planned with provincial chief ministers.

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