ISLAMABAD, Feb 17 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday directed to consider out of the box solution and proposals to check electricity and gas tariff, so as the prices could be stabilized at sustainable basis, and masses be provided maximum relief.

He said the governments in the past, without keeping in view the affordability of masses and putting the national interest aside, did expensive and illogical agreements and arrangements, which caused increase in electricity tariff and pushed up the circular debt.

The Prime Minister expressed these views while chairing a high level meeting held here about reducing the electricity and gas tariff and giving relief to domestic consumers and the industries.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Energy Umar Ayub Khan, Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to PM Shehzad Qasim, Special Assistant to PM Nadeem Babar and senior officers.

The Prime Minister said the foremost priority of the present government were masses especially the low income and poverty stricken people as well as the promotion of industries so as to push the wheels of economy.

On the direction of the prime minister to bring stabilization and reduction to the possible extent in the prices of electricity and gas especially for domestic and industrial consumers, various proposals were presented in the meeting.

The Prime Minister was also apprised of the current situation as well as the challenges regarding the power and gas tariff.

Special Assistant to PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar presented various proposals regarding the possible reduction in electricity and gas tariff based on long-term planning.

The Prime Minister was told that people were facing the brunt of hike in electricity and gas tariff due to the previous governments’ agreements energy sectors.

He was told that the present government was not only trying to check the burden of pilferage and line losses through administrative reforms in these sectors, but was also taking measures to ensure the availability of these utilities to domestic and industrial consumers at appropriate rates so that people and industries got relief.

The Prime Minister was told that the effective measures taken by the present government to check power pilferage resulted in the extra income of Rs. 122 billion in electricity sector.

The meeting was further informed that increase in circular debt has also been reduced from Rs. 38 billion per month to Rs. 12 billion per month, and it would be brought to zero by the end of this year.

The Prime Minster was told that the price of electricity generation units installed during the past was also being paid by the present government and the people were bearing this additional burden as well.