It appears the government is thinking of punishing the motorists who are driving alone on the motorway by doubling their toll tax. The government feels like this initiative will curb the energy crisis to some extent.
The cabinet has put forth various proposals to curb the energy consumption in the country and will be putting those proposals in front of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in coming days. The Prime Minister will be discussing the said proposals with the provincial governments before giving the greenlight.
One of the proposals is to penalise the people who will be driving alone on the motorway to promote carpooling while reducing the fuel consumption on the whole. Another proposal is to only allow even or odd registration number vehicles depending on the day of the week. The cabinet has also put forward a suggestion to force the provincial governments to implement biannual inspection of vehicles to check their road fitness. It is similar to the UK MOT’s fitness certificate.
Other proposals include 33% reduction in the government officials’ fuel quota, lowering the allowed speed limits on highways and motorways, and no vehicles to be allowed on Sundays on public main roads, to name a few.
The IMF has been hammering the government to increase the energy prices across the board if Pakistan wants to get the rest of the loan from the organisation. Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has multiple times expressed his concerns over the country going bankrupt in case the energy consumption is not reduced considerably while also insisting a huge increase in the tariff.
Although there is a sasta petrol scheme launched recently by the government, it is only for people earning less than Rs40,000 and it only gives the relief of Rs2000 which, if you look from a larger perspective, won’t matter. Considering the inflation and high prices of routinely consumables, the 2000 rupees might not be enough for everyone.