ICCI for passing on full benefit of FPA to electricity consumers

  • June 29, 2015
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to pass on the full benefit of Rs.2.62 per unit reduction in electricity tariff approved by the National Electric Power Regulator Authority on account of fuel price adjustment and not deprive the power consumers of Rs.11 billion relief by withholding this amount to settle the gas receivables and circular debt dues. 
Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that NEPRA has taken a good initiative by approving reduction of Rs.2.62 per unit in power tariff for the month of April on account of monthly fuel price adjustment but government has decided to withhold 76 paisa per unit out of this relief to recover Gas Infrastructure Development Cess and circular debt dues, which is very unfortunate as it will deprive the power consumers of a substantial relief of Rs.11 billion. He said consumers have no role to play in accumulation of circular debt, but they were being forced to pay for the inefficiency of power sector players, which is totally unjustified
He said government has already collected an amount of Rs.94 billion as GIDC which is lying idle and it wanted to recover Rs.145 billion from consumers on account of GIDC during the outgoing financial year despite the fact that no gas infrastructure has been developed so far for Iran Pakistan and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline projects. 
Muzzamil Sabri said that the country was going through a worst phase of loadshedding forcing thousands of people to come on streets in protest while trade and industry was also badly suffering due to this phenomenon and incurring huge business losses. He said power shortage was the main hurdle in the way of attracting new investment and government should give top priority to addressing this issue.
He said according to a study of Private Power and Infrastructure Board, Pakistan has the potential to generate 60,000MW hydro electricity, but it was unfortunately that only 11% of this vast hydropower potential has been harnessed so far despite the fact that hydroelectricity was the cheapest and best available option to cope with the power crisis. He said it is a sustainable, reliable, renewable, clean, low cost and indigenous source of generating electricity and stressed that government should make all possible efforts to tap the untapped hydropower potential without further delay so that country could get rid of loadshedding and business & industrial activities could flourish smoothly.