Finance minister hints at increasing electricity, gas tariffs in Jan

10:00 AM | 17 Nov, 2023
Finance minister hints at increasing electricity, gas tariffs in Jan
Source: File photo

ISLAMABAD – It appears that there won’t be any relief for the public from the high electricity and gas tariffs as interim Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar has indicated a plan by the caretaker government to raise these utility prices in January.

In a press conference at the Q Block, the federal minister highlighted the government’s commitment under the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) to lower costs in the energy sector and restore its efficiency.

Dr Akhtar stressed the urgency to address the circular debt in the power and gas sectors, which has surpassed 4% of the Gross Domestic Product.

Discussing her discussions with the IMF, Dr Akhtar mentioned tariff revisions in the energy sector and potential additional taxes on sectors like real estate and retail. However, she clarified that final decisions on these matters are pending.

Emphasizing Pakistan’s need for a fresh short-term IMF program due to fragile macroeconomic stability, she hinted at the necessity for a medium-term program under Extended Fund Facility (EFF) post the SBA conclusion.

Regarding the external financing gap, Finance Secretary Imdad Bosal expressed optimism about a successful IMF review unlocking program and project loans from multilateral lenders such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Islamic Development Bank. He anticipated a reduction in the current account deficit, thus decreasing the external financing requirement.

Dr Akhtar anticipated disbursements from the World Bank totalling $2 billion in loans for the current fiscal year. Furthermore, she highlighted the expected buildup of foreign exchange reserves post the approval of a $700 million tranche from the IMF, estimating a total disbursement of $1.9 billion out of $3 billion under the SBA.

Addressing the caretaker government’s efforts to stabilize the economy, Dr Akhtar discussed proactive measures aimed at enhancing market confidence. Initiatives such as the $3 billion SBA program and endeavors like the Special Investment Facilitation Council to expedite investments in critical infrastructure were highlighted.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk


Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 24 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 24, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

On Saturday, Euro stands at 302  for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 24 February 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94


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