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NA informed: Rs656.162bn subsidies given to power consumers

  • Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar says that other than domestic consumers, a huge amount of subsidy is provided to agriculture sector
Updated 23 Sep, 2021

Islamabad: The National Assembly (NA) was informed Wednesday that the government has given Rs656.162 billion as subsidies for electricity consumers during fiscal years, 2018-19 and 2019-20.

In a written reply, during question hour, the Minister for Energy (Power Division), Hammad Azhar, said that other than domestic consumers, a huge amount of subsidy is provided to the agriculture sector.

“Further, industrial sector is subsidised through industrial support packages (ISP) and zero-rated subsidy (ZRI) consumers in erstwhile, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) are also being provided electricity on subsidised rates,” he added.

Azhar said that Rs193.44 billion and Rs251.1 billion were paid as tariff differential subsidies for financial years, 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively.

Industrial support package, he added, a total of Rs6.11 billion and Rs6.89 billion were paid as subsidy for financial years, 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively.

“Rs13.36 billion was paid as subsidy for Zero Rated Industrial Rebate in 2018-19 and Rs18.11 billion was as subsidy in 2019-20,” he added.

Power consumers: 3-phase subsidy mechanism on the cards

Responding to a supplementary question, Azhar said that Rs20 billion have been earmarked for transmission lines.

The quorum issue persisted once again in the NA during question hour due to which the NA speaker could not take up the agenda.

Out of the four sittings of the ongoing 36th Session, it was the second sitting which faced quorum issue and was adjourned.

The 3rd sitting on September 21, 2021 also faced quorum issue but it was adjourned by the chair without counting.

The proceedings of the House started on Wednesday with Speaker NA Asad Qaiser in chair.

As per rules of procedure and conduct of business in the NA, the question hour was being observed during the first hour of the sitting when PML-N MNA Murtaza Javed Abbasi pointed out the quorum.

The chair directed for counting and announced to adjourn the House due to lack of quorum.

Power subsidy rationalisation plan unveiled

The House did not take up five government bills including the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Higher Education Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Higher Education Commission (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Pakistan Baitul Mal (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and the Evacuee Trust Properties (Management and Disposal) (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Two ordinances including the Federal Government Properties Management Authority Ordinance, 2021 and the Elections (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 were not laid.

The house did not take up two calling attention notices, a motion of thanks to the president for his address to the Parliament on September 13, 2021, three reports of standing committees, and four statutory reports. The House will meet again on Friday at 11am.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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