Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday announced a complete exemption to about 17.1 million electricity consumers out of 30 million in the country from paying their fuel adjustment charges in the electricity bills.
As immediate relief measures for the masses, the prime minister said the government had also notified rescinding of levy of fixed taxes on retailers and shopkeepers.
He announced that out of 30 million consumers, a total of 17.100 million would not pay the fuel adjustment charges (FAC) in their electricity bills, as it was now removed. “After this relief announcement, they will not pay a single rupee under the FAC,” he added.
He said about 300,000 users of agriculture tube wells in the country would also enjoy a complete exemption from the fuel adjustment charges.
The prime minister further explained that a mechanism would be announced soon, adding they were also reviewing other power users’ costs besides waiving off fuel adjustment charges.
Accompanied by the members of his delegation in Qatar where he arrived on a two-day official visit, the prime minister said they had two targets to achieve when they came into power.
The coalition government carried the backlog of the previous government which had left behind a trail of worst performance and economic decay, and due to their pathetic policies, the country was on the verge of default, he said, adding that due to the untiring efforts of the incumbent government, that danger was over.
The prime minister said the previous government’s poor performance had resulted in the price hike of commodities, but his government continued its efforts day and night to control it.
He said though they had not achieved much collective efforts were being made ‘to send back the jinni of price hike into the bottle’.
The prime minister regretted that during the debate on the passage of the first fiscal budget, they had discussed the issue of fixed tax on retailers and shopkeepers but practically, things went wrong which did not reflect reality.
Imposition of such taxes was against the spirit of what they had discussed, he said, adding due to such measures, the small shopkeepers had to face an extra burden of paying taxes.
The prime minister clarified that it was neither the purpose of the government nor they had discussed such a mechanism.
A committee had been set up to fix the responsibility on the issue which would submit its report, he said, adding the process would take some time.
The prime minister said notification was also issued regarding the removal of fixed taxes of Rs3000, Rs6000 and Rs10,000 on the shopkeepers.