The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the cost of electricity has been increased three times in two months due to the pressure of the IMF which is unacceptable.
The burden on the masses has been increased by almost Rs450 billion while the burden on the wealthy and the elite is not being increased, it said.
Instead of increasing the burden on the public, the theft of electricity should be stopped and bills should be collected from the users of free electricity to give some relief to the masses, said Saifuddin Sheikh, Executive Director of PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that the Federal Cabinet has approved the imposition of an additional burden of 335 billion rupees on the consumers by fulfilling the third condition of the IMF.
A surcharge of three rupees 23 paise per unit is being imposed on the bills. The increase will be applicable to domestic, agricultural, commercial, and K-electricity consumers.
The government has already imposed a burden of Rs76 billion on electricity bills from March to June due to which the poor and the salaried class have become more vulnerable.
However, he said, there is no intention on the part of authorities to collect bills from those consuming thousands of units of free electricity.
There is no serious to reduce the theft of billions of rupees in the power sector, he said, adding that stealing power is not limited to influential people. Consuming electricity without payment is illegal and punishable by fines and imprisonment but it has not deterred the masses.