Islamabad: With some improvement in power generation, it is the right time that government should immediately remove the different tariffs for peak and off peak hours as it is badly affecting trade and industrial activities in the country. This was observed by Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a statement. He said industrial tariff is Rs.5 per unit, but during peak hours the tariff increases to over Rs.9 per unit.
He said that for industries operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week this amount to hefty increase in average electricity tariff, which is highly discriminatory. He said government should take on board all stakeholders including business community before taking any policy decisions to resolve power and energy crisis so that such illogical measures could be avoided as these prove highly damaging for business and economic activities.
Mian Shaukat Masud said electricity tariff for the industrial sector in Pakistan is far higher than the industrial sectors of regional countries, which is one of the main hurdles in meeting country’s export targets.
According to some estimates, electricity charges for the industrial sectors of Bangladesh is 5.23 cents per unit, Sri Lanka 7.28 cents, India 8.14 cents and 8.5 cents in China, which reflects considerable decline as compared to the charges set for the Pakistani industrial sector.
He said that this wide difference in the regional electricity tariff has hardly hit the competitiveness of the Pakistani industry in the international market. He said government should take measures to bring down power tariff in Pakistan otherwise hike electricity charges would further diminish the ability and competitiveness of our industry, which may lead to unavailability of Pakistani made products in the international market.
ICCI President pointed out that the industrial sector consumes more than 40 percent of the total electricity in Pakistan. Despite being the major stakeholder, the industrial sector was the worst affected of different tariffs during peak and off peak hours in Pakistan.
Regretting over the attitude of government, he said the business community have never been consulted while hiking power tariff. He said that the best option to bring down inflation in the country is to make a decent cut in power tariff and added that this decision will provide much needed relief to the inflation-hit common man as well.-ONLINE