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ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government is likely to extend the subsidy to electricity consumers using 100 units monthly under the “Punjab Ujala Programme (PUP)”, over and above the subsidy being given by the federal government to lifeline consumers, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

In this regard, Prime Minister's Office (PMO) constituted a joint Working Group (JWG) comprising Federal Finance Minister, Dr Miftah Ismail (Convener), Minister for Power, Khurram Dastgir Khan (Member), Minister of State for Petroleum, Musadik Masood Malik (Member), Finance Minister, Punjab (Member), Secretary Finance (Member), Secretary Power Division (Secretary/ Member), Chairman Planning and Development Punjab (Member) and Secretary Finance, Punjab, (Member) to finalize recommendations.

The Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the committee are as follows: (i) examine the proposal of the Government of Punjab for the provision of subsidy to the consumers of electricity of zero to hundred unit slabs, in Punjab, and come up with its recommendations/way forward; (ii) ensure that the proposed subsidy will result in no financial liability for the federal government; (iii) any other related issue(s), which requires consideration of the Joint Working Group; and (iv) Joint Working Group may co-opt any other member(s)/expert(s) as per its requirement.

Punjab allocates Rs5.54bn for energy sector

Additional Secretary (Companies) Punjab, Aslam Shahid, in a letter to the president, Bank of Punjab, under the programme, stated that domestic consumers with monthly consumption of up to 100 units will be subsidized through a comprehensive workable mechanism. The success of this scheme would primarily depend upon efficient coordination and coherent liaison between different relevant entities.

The president Bank of Punjab has been directed to coordinate with National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC), Power Information Technology Company (PITC) and National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra) for the development of an SMS registration utility.

Finance Ministry, Punjab, has also requested the Bank of Punjab that a mechanism for subsidy settlement between the Punjab government and all power Distribution Companies (Discos) in Punjab may also be developed to ensure a successful model of subsidy for low-income electricity consumers in the province.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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