PESHAWAR: The unprecedented increase in the power tariff has triggered protest and people in almost all districts and cities including the provincial metropolis are taking streets against manifold hike in their monthly electricity bills.
The trading community and residents of the city take streets and burnt the copies of their electricity bills demanding of the government to abolish or cut the ratio of various taxes in the bills to decrease it to maximum level.
According to reports, a factory labourer with monthly wage of only Rs.25000/- has been sent a bill of over Rs.20000/- The concerned labourer while expressing criticizing the government burnt the copy of the bill. Similarly, a campaign against increase in the electricity bills is also going on the social media while reports of staging protests are also being reported from Malakand, Dir Upper, Dir Lower and southern districts of the province.
A senior politician, Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour has also complained of receiving a monthly electricity bill of Rs. 400,000/- who says, he is using only one air-conditioner.
He said that heavy electricity bills are snatching the right to life from the people and both poor and middle classes of the society are not in position to pay the school fees of their children. He said that people have been left with no other option than taking streets and asked the government to take notice of the situation.
He said that unemployment is growing and middle class of the society is in high depression. He demanded of the government to withdraw the recent increase in power tariff to give maximum relief to the inflation and unemployment hit people of the province.
Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajran Pakistan has also announced countrywide protest demonstrations on August 29 and 30th against manifold increase in the power tariff, prices of petroleum products and price hike in the country.
The organization has also announced a country-wide shutter on September 2, 2023 to protest excessive electricity bills, increase in petroleum products and sky rocketing price in the country.
A meeting of the trading community was also held with President, Tajir Insaf, and Shahid Khan in the chair expressed concern over excessive electricity bills and price hike.
Addressing the meeting, president of Tajir Insaf said that sky rocketing price-hike and excessive electricity bills have made the lives of the people miserable. He demanded of the caretaker government and authorities of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company to abolish all unjustified taxes from the electricity bills, otherwise, he will give a call for the province-wide protest and in case of any untoward incident; the government will be responsible for it.
Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (JIP) has also given a protest call against increase in the power tariff, price hike and unemployment and a shutter down on September 2, 2023.
In this connection, provincial chief JI Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Professor Mohammad Ibrahim Khan led a protest demo at Haripur. The participants of the demo were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against excessive electricity bills.
In his address, the JI provincial chief asked both the government and concerned authorities for immediate withdrawal of increase in the power tariff. The local leadership of JI is also holding protest demos at their respective district and tehsil level in the province.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023