PESHAWAR: The business community here has expressed serious concern over the federal government’s plan to increase power tariff by Rs4.97 per unit during the remaining three months of the current financial year and feared that such steps will lead to increase in poverty in the country.

Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Sherbaz Bilour said in a statement here on Friday that the government had assured the IMF of increasing electricity price by Rs4.97 per unit and petroleum products by Rs30 per litre. He vowed that the business community would resist any such decision.

He said that instead of increasing power tariff, the government should take practical steps to overcome the line losses of power companies and improve the transmission system. He demanded that legal action should be taken against those involved in Independent Power Producers (IPPs) agreements.

Mr Bilour claimed that the national economy was on the brink of collapse owing to Covid-19 pandemic and it would not be possible for the business community to pay the heavy utility bills in the prevailing situation.

He said the hike in electricity tariff was unjustified and as such unacceptable to the business community. He asked the government to revisit its decision in the best interest of the people.

The chamber president noted that the country’s economy was already unstable and the imposition of unwise policies would further complicate the situation. He said the industrial sector would be unable to maintain production process in the prevailing situation, which would cause increase in unemployment in the country.

He claimed that the government had given autonomy to Nepra to determine electricity prices under the IMF pressure, saying that the move was undemocratic.

The chamber president said the frequent hikes in power tariff and promulgation of ordinance to fulfil IMF condition was a sign of slavery. He asked the government to announce special incentives for the Covid-hit businesses and industries to revive the national economy.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2021

Opinion

No Eid for Sachal
16 May 2021

No Eid for Sachal

All this pain has been inflicted on man by man. When reason fails, this is what man resorts to. Naked barbarity.
US exit: security implications
16 May 2021

US exit: security implications

All indications are that transnational terrorist groups are gearing up to increase their operations in the region.

Editorial

16 May 2021

Riyadh-Tehran thaw

SEVERAL official pronouncements over the last few days have confirmed that efforts are underway behind the scenes to...
16 May 2021

Ruthless evictions

FOR a state to deprive residents of their homes without providing for alternative housing for them is a dereliction...
16 May 2021

Wheat concerns

THE new official projections for provisional wheat output suggest that Punjab may harvest around 20.5m tonnes of...
Eid during Covid
Updated 13 May 2021

Eid during Covid

It is indisputable that our actions now will prevent matters from becoming far worse.
Updated 14 May 2021

Foreign policy gaffes

MIXED messages, retractions and clarifications from the government have become an all-too-common occurrence when it...
Zimbabwe series win
Updated 15 May 2021

Zimbabwe series win

For millions of Pakistani fans, it was a thrilling experience to see their team returning to its winning ways.