In light of the government’s comprehensive deliberation on strategies to alleviate the burden of electricity bills, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has declined the proposal for tariff adjustments or additional subsidies. This decision was made despite the government’s assertion that its bill collections for August had nearly met expectations, as reported by The News on Tuesday. 

The IMF has expressed strong reservations regarding the government’s initiative to provide relief to economically disadvantaged individuals facing high power bills. Pakistan has consequently approached the global lender, requesting permission to phase in upcoming quarterly tariff adjustments (QTAs) and Fuel Price Adjustments (FPAs) amounting to Rs7.50 per unit over the next four to six months. 

An authoritative source confirmed this request, stating, “Pakistan has sought the IMF’s approval for a gradual implementation of QTAs and FPAs over a four to six-month period, potentially incurring additional costs that will require mutual agreement.” 


According to sources, the power sector continues to grapple with challenges, given the necessity of increasing tariffs by approximately Rs5 per unit in the current month and incorporating FPAs amounting to Rs2.72 per unit. Consequently, a cumulative tariff increase exceeding Rs7 per unit is anticipated.  

The computation of QTAs will be based on losses incurred during the April-June period, reflecting reduced unit usage, increased interest payments, and fluctuations in exchange rates. Meanwhile, the FPA is calculated to address the rising prices of imported fuel, resulting in a potential hike of Rs7.50 per unit in September bills, subject to regulatory approval.  

Simultaneously, the Ministry of Power asserts that its bill collection performance for August 2023 has improved and is nearing expectations. They contend that to mitigate the impact of inflated bills, they must seek the IMF’s approval for the staggered implementation of QTAs and FPAs.  

According to calculations by the Ministry of Power for various consumer categories, those utilising 400 units can anticipate a reduction in power charges from Rs21,000 in August 2023 to Rs16,963 in September and further to Rs11,356 in October, factoring in QTAs and FPAs. Similarly, charges for consumers using 300 units are projected to decrease from Rs13,000 in August to Rs10,000 in September and Rs8,000 in October 2023. 

With the onset of winter in October, it is anticipated that the issue of escalated bills will gradually subside. Additionally, officials are planning to approach the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to determine the next tariff adjustments, considering seasonal usage trends. Given the peak usage during the summer months followed by a decline in winter, tariff adjustments will be tailored to accommodate these seasonal fluctuations. 

The Prime Minister has instructed the Ministry of Finance to develop a strategy for economic stability in Pakistan. During a meeting with Interim Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar, the current economic situation was discussed. 

The government aims to find innovative solutions to ease the burden on electricity consumers, addressing issues like circular debt, power theft, and taxes with short-term measures. 

The caretaker government’s primary goal is to facilitate early general elections while upholding constitutional obligations such as constituency delimitation following the population census. The focus is on restructuring fiscal and monetary policies for economic revitalization.