Business community resents 86 paisa per unit hike in electricity tariff which will cripple business activities

  • May 14, 2009
Business community has resented the 86 paisa per unit increase in electricity tariff by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), terming it a big blow to industrial and agriculture sectors. In a statement, Shaban Khalid, Acting President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that electricity tariff in Pakistan was already very high as compared to regional countries including Bangladesh, China, India & Sri Lanka etc. and further increase in it would lead to the closure of more industrial units rendering thousands of workers jobless. He said high power tariff was a big factor in raising cost of doing business and making our exports uncompetitive in international markets while this hike will make conditions tougher for businessmen, apart from badly affecting our exports and creating more miseries for common man.

Shaban Khalid said despite hefty international decline in petroleum prices, the untimely decision by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to enhance the electricity tariff by 86 paisas per unit is un-just, uncalled-for and deplorable. He said it was not right time to enhance power tariff at a time when the trade and industry was suffering due to many unfavorable factors like high utility rates, high credit cost, energy shortage, reduction in demand due to global recession and unsatisfactory law & order situation. He said these factors demanded reduction in power tariff and not further spike in it to enable businesses for a smooth sailing in current troubled waters. He stressed for the need of coming out of IMF grip to make independent policies and decision in the larger national interest.

ICCI Acting President said many industries have already closed down their operations due to unviable business conditions spurred by frequent loadshedding, high utility tariffs and high production cost. He feared that this increase will aggravate more the situation for industrial sector giving further rise to poverty and unemployment. In these circumstances the decision of increasing the electricity tariff would not only enhance the joblessness and inflation but also create more difficulties for people, which could also further worsen the law and order situation. He deplored that such important decisions are taken unilaterally without taking on board stakeholders including business community. Therefore, he urged for immediate revision of this unfavorable decision otherwise, the country will plunge into deep economic troubles due to this factor.