Recently, Chief Minister Punjab, Hamza Shahbaz made an announcement about providing free electricity to those who use less than 100 units. PML-N claimed this measure to be focused on primarily curtailing the problems of the people who bear extreme brunt of the inflationary hike. “The provision of providing free electricity is a part of pro-people policies,” they added.
Read more: Electricity prices to increase again
However, Hamza Shahbaz’s free electricity decision comes under criticism on Twitter.
Former Federal Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Omar Ayub Khan termed this initiative as “a total gimmick.” He said that motive behind this is to influence the 20 constituencies election in Punjab on July 17th. Govt of Punjab will have to pay Rs. 160 Bill. He stated, “Imported Govt is begging the IMF for a tranche.”
Hamza Sharif's announcement of waiving 100 units consumers power bills is a total gimmick & being announced only to influnce the 20 constituencies election in Punjab on July 17th. Govt of Punjab will have to pay Rs. 160 Bil. Imported Govt is begging the IMF for a tranche. 1/2
— Omar Ayub Khan (@OmarAyubKhan) July 4, 2022
He claimed that the government was not paying the Power Producers, which causes load shedding. “As the govt does not have the ability to pay the subsidy, a reduction in revenue will have to be met through increased load shedding,” he added.
The former federal minister also warned of more power outage, terming the provincial government a ‘circus’.
Moreover, host of Pakistonomy and Director at Pakistan Initiative South Asia commented, “waiting for people to tell us how this is also fully funded.” He added that there is no possibility that IMF will permit for this initiative primarily because provincial surpluses are required under the agreement.
Moreover, he referred to it as “the state’s coffers are kaput, and people are talking about subsidies as if money grows on trees.”
Waiting for people to tell us how this is also fully funded.
There is no way the IMF will allow for this mainly because provincial surpluses are needed under the agreement.
The state’s coffers are kaput, and people are talking about subsidies as if money grows on trees. https://t.co/hP4ZvcnZRg
— Uzair Younus عُزیر یُونس (@UzairYounus) July 4, 2022