Traders across Pakistan to stage protest July 1 against power tariff hike
Ajmal Baloch, President of the All Pakistan Traders Association, made the strike announcement at a joint press conference in Islamabad

at 12:29 am
Protesters burn electricity bills

Islamabad, June 28: The All Pakistan Traders Association has announced a nationwide protest on July 1 against the hike in electricity bills, and warned the federal government to abolish additional taxes by June 30 or face further actions.

Ajmal Baloch, President of the All Pakistan Traders Association, alongside other traders, made this announcement during a joint press conference in Islamabad on Friday. He stated, “The government has committed an injustice regarding electricity bills, and we are declaring a nationwide protest starting from July 1.”

Baloch highlighted the discrepancy in billing, saying, “A bill for 200 units is different from that of higher usage. The Independent Power Producers (IPPs), owned by government elites, are being paid in dollars.”

He noted that while payments to IPPs are being made for 48,000 megawatts, the actual requirement is around 20,000 megawatts.

Appealing to traders and the public, Baloch urged, “On July 1, traders across the country should protest, and the public should join us. There will be protests on every level and every street.”

He warned the government to abolish the taxes, fixed taxes, and slabs included in the electricity bills by June 30 (Sunday) or else the traders would announce their next course of action on July 1. “The IPP contracts, which burden the budget by Rs2,500 billion, should be reviewed,” he added.

Baloch also pointed out the burden of free electricity provided to WAPDA employees being placed on the public.

Khalid Chaudhry, Secretary of the Traders Action Committee Islamabad and Advisor to the President ICCI, called on the government to take notice of these faster meters, as NEPRA’s website reports that distribution companies are exploiting the public by installing these meters.

Meanwhile, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has proposed imposing fixed charges of up to Rs1,000 for domestic electricity consumers from July 1.

According to sources, this proposal has been sent to the federal government, which will make the final decision.

The proposed fixed charges are part of the average base tariff of Rs5.72 per unit.

The fixed charges are structured to vary based on electricity consumption levels.

As per the proposal, domestic consumers using between 301 and 400 units per month will incur fixed charges of Rs200.

Similarly, those consuming between 401 and 500 units per month will be subjected to fixed charges of Rs400.

Vice President of the Central Traders Association Rawalpindi, Tariq Jadoon, and President Rawalpindi Cantonment, Sheikh Hafeez, claimed that WAPDA has installed faster meters, which according to NEPRA’s report, are 30% faster.