Caretakers are expected to receive a response from the IMF regarding the electricity bill relief plan within the next day or two.

Caretaker Power Minister Muhammad Ali announced on Friday that the government has already submitted its plan for providing relief to electricity consumers to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for approval. They are anticipating a response from the IMF within the next day or two. This announcement came during a press conference following the Special Investment Facilitation Council’s (SIFC) Apex Committee meeting, where Ali was joined by Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar, Information Minister Murtaza Solangi, and Commerce Minister Gohar Ejaz.

During the meeting, the power minister discussed various aspects related to electricity bills and gas availability in the country. They also explored the possibility of transferring electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) to the provinces and depoliticizing their boards.

Ali emphasized the shortage of natural gas in the country, particularly during the winter, and mentioned the need for LNG terminals to support industries without disrupting their operations due to gas shortages. He confirmed that the power ministry is actively working on these plans and may also review gas prices.

Finance Minister Akhtar added that they are working on a policy for state-owned enterprises (SoEs) and establishing a central monitoring unit to enhance corporate governance within these entities. This move aims to reduce the debt burden on state-owned enterprises and diversify it through the capital market, ultimately benefitting the banking sector and allowing common citizens to invest in government securities.

Akhtar stressed the importance of reviving the economy and easing import restrictions. Actions are being taken against currency and commodity smuggling to yield positive results.

In the official statement following the SIFC Apex Committee meeting, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar urged ministries to deliver optimal results regardless of time constraints, laying a strong foundation for the next government. The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir, federal cabinet members, provincial chief ministers, and high-level government officials.

The committee convened with a primary emphasis on enhancing the country’s business and investment climate, a critical element for fostering economic recovery. During this high-level meeting, relevant ministries shared their strategies and action plans aimed at addressing macroeconomic difficulties, governance issues, and regulatory shortcomings. The objective was to create an environment conducive to attracting both foreign and domestic investments, thereby stimulating economic growth.

The committee engaged in discussions about a range of measures to be implemented in the short, medium, and long terms to achieve the anticipated benefits. The Prime Minister approved several practical steps, which will be put into action as expeditiously as possible, as stated by the Prime Minister’s Office.