- Govt decides to seek IMF’s nod before announcing electricity relief.
- Caretaker PM Kakar’s meeting to mull options turns out fruitless.
- Sources say “two sides will hold another session in next few days.”
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday asked Pakistan to share the plan in writing to provide relief in electricity bills as the protests continue countrywide, sources told Geo News.
The development comes after the caretaker government decided to seek the lender’s nod before announcing any relief to the consumers.
A meeting of the federal cabinet was held on Tuesday with interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar in the chair to mull options but ended without announcing any measures.
The Power Division shared its proposals with the authorities but due to strict IMF loan conditions, it was concluded that the lender should be taken on board first.
Islamabad had signed a $3 billion loan agreement with the Fund in July and agreed to stringent financial discipline during the programme.
Under the bailout package, the previous government of the Pakistan Democratic Movement okayed a massive increase in electricity rates which are now being reflected in the bills.
As per the cabinet instructions, Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar held a virtual meeting with IMF representative Esther Perez and discussed relief measures, the sources said.
They were briefed on the current situation as protests continue unabated across the country.
The Pakistani team submitted various proposals for relief in electricity bills but the IMF officials sought the relief plan in writing which would be shared with them today, the sources added.
They further said that the officials of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) also had virtual contact with the Funds on tax collection in July.
“The two sides will hold another session in the next few days.”