ICCI slams ECC decision to impose Rs.75 billion extra burden on power consumers

  • January 12, 2015
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has strongly protested against the decision of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet to approve imposition of extra burden of Rs.75 billion per year on the power consumers by including three surcharges worth Rs.2.4/unit and additional cost of system losses in the consumer tariff and termed it a very unwise move as it would bring more trouble for the businessmen as well as the general public. 
Muzammil Hussain Sabri President, Muhammad Shakeel Munir Senior Vice President and Muhammad Ashfaq Hussain Chatha Vice President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that instead of taking policy measures to make power companies efficient and profitable, government has adopted an easy approach of passing on the cost of their poor performance to the consumers to meet the IMF conditions, which is totally unfair and unjustified. 
They said that power companies were responsible to bring down transmission and distribution losses and to provide electricity at affordable cost. However, they termed it unfortunate that instead of inducting good professionals in public sector power companies to curtain their inefficiencies and improve their performance, government was forcing consumers to pay for the continuous failure of these companies, which has no legal justification. 
They said that 1 percent system losses of power companies translated into about Rs.6 billion and passing on 18 percent T&D losses to consumers meant putting on them an extra burden of Rs.108 billion. 
They were of the view that the power tariffs in Pakistan were already highest in the region due to which cost of doing business was quite high in our country and said that adding annual burden of Rs.75 billion in power tariff would prove very harmful to the overall economy as it would further increase production cost, cripple the industry, discourage new investment and cause flight of capital from the country making Pakistan an unfriendly country for business. 
They stressed upon the government to adopt a pragmatic approach and take urgent measures to improve the working of power companies instead of squeezing consumers to pay for power companies inefficiencies on account of power theft, line losses, non-recovery of receivables and financing of circular debt etc.