PM Shehbaz Sharif ready for ‘tough decisions’ to revive stalled IMF programme

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday reportedly agreed to enforce hard decisions to break the stalemate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), The News reported.

The tough decisions include hiking the gas and electricity tariffs and unveiling a mini-budget for imposing more taxation measures to fetch Rs150-200 billion.

Official sources told The News, “The premier chaired an online meeting Wednesday evening for around three hours and thirty minutes in which important decisions were taken. However, this meeting is expected to be reconvened on Thursday (today) for taking more crucial decisions.”

When asked about the possible hike in electricity and gas prices, the State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik did not reply.

However, sources, privy to the development, said the gas tariff is expected to increase from Rs650 per MMBTU to Rs1,100 per MMBTU on average.

SNGPL and SSGCL have a monstrous circular debt of Rs1,640 billion, the government plans to recover Rs800 to Rs850 billion via the new price hike.

Meanwhile, in the power sector, the government is considering raising the electricity tariff from Rs4.50 per unit in the first phase and Rs3 per unit in the second phase within the ongoing fiscal year.

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