As nationwide protests continue, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ordered Pakistan on Wednesday to present a written plan to reduce electricity bills.
The development comes after the caretaker government decided to seek the lender’s approval before declaring any consumer relief.
The federal cabinet met on Tuesday to consider possibilities, with interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar in the chair, but no decisions were made.
The Power Division presented its suggestions to the authorities, but due to the severe IMF loan conditions, it was decided that the lender should come first.
In July, Islamabad inked a $3 billion loan arrangement with the Fund and promised tough financial discipline during the initiative.
The former government of the Pakistan Democratic Movement approved a huge hike in electricity costs as part of the bailout deal, which is now reflected in the bills.
According to sources, Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar conducted a virtual conference with IMF representative Esther Perez and discussed relief measures under cabinet directions.
They were briefed on the present situation, as protests around the country continue unabated.
The Pakistani team offered different recommendations for electricity bill relief, but IMF officials requested a written relief plan, which would be discussed with them today, according to sources.
They further stated that in July, officials from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had virtual contact with the Funds regarding tax collection.
“The two sides will meet again in the coming days.”