Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s Prime Minister, Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq, has addressed the recent increase in electricity prices, stating that the price hike has also affected Azad Kashmir, leading to public protests. He mentioned that he has temporarily halted the implementation of these increases and advised people to pay their bills based on the previous rates.
Anwar-ul-Haq emphasized that in the Senate committee discussions, he conveyed that the region has the potential to generate nearly 28,000 megawatts of electricity. Currently, they are purchasing electricity at a rate of Rs. 2 per unit from Mangla and Neelum Jhelum, but the actual cost is around Rs. 8 per unit. He urged the federal government to provide electricity at the same subsidized rate they are purchasing it for and stated that this would enable them to decide the rates they want to charge their citizens.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that the Azad Kashmir electricity department is undergoing changes to improve the electricity supply. He expressed his desire to receive direct electricity supply instead of relying on Power Purchase Agreements with companies. This would give them greater control over deciding the electricity rates for their citizens.
Anwar-ul-Haq stressed that direct access to electricity would also lead to administrative benefits and reduce the overheads associated with power purchase agreements. He is committed to transforming the electricity sector in Azad Kashmir to ensure better service delivery and affordability for the people.