The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat has expressed deep concern over the recent increase in electricity prices and its impact on the nation.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad, emphasized that this situation is a national crisis and highlighted that there have been reported cases of suicide linked to the price hike in the country. As a response, the committee has proposed the withdrawal of all taxes on electricity bills, particularly for the underprivileged class.
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Furthermore, the committee has requested a briefing from the Chairman of NEPRA (National Electric Power Regulatory Authority) regarding the mechanism used to implement rapid increases in electricity rates. Additionally, the committee is seeking information about the owners of independent power producers (IPPs). The committee believes that this issue is of national importance, and measures should be taken to provide relief to the affected people.
In addition to discussing electricity prices, the committee has also inquired about recent incidents of casualties and injuries caused by electrocution, as well as domestic substandard electrical wiring. They are interested in understanding the preventive measures taken to avoid such fatal incidents.
The committee expressed concern that numerous cases are pending in tribunals, and those affected are not receiving compensation. It was revealed that a total of 164 fatalities occurred in DISCOs (Distribution Companies) during FY23, along with 106 non-fatal injuries. The committee has recommended expediting the resolution of pending cases to address this issue.