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RAWALPINDI, April 23: The traders of Rawalpindi on Monday warned to instigate countrywide agitation against addition of fuel adjustment surcharge in electricity bills demanding the government to abolish it.

President Anjuman-i-Tajiran Rawalpindi and Chairman All Pakistan Traders Action Committee Sharjeel Mir regretted that though federal minister for water and power Naveed Qamar assured them on August 11 last year that the surcharge would be withdrawn, but, “so far the government has not abolished it despite the fact the traders are using generators for alternative supply of energy due to long hours of loadshedding.

“We feel deceived as the minister had given us a false assurance”, a statement issued here said.

The statement further said the fuel adjustment surcharge was Rs6.50 per unit against which they had protested last year and ended it only after getting assurance from the minister.

“We warn the government to abolish the additional surcharge in electricity bills otherwise we would give countrywide call for protests and rallies and will also appeal general public to join us for the cause,” Sharjeel Mir said.

“An ordinary shopkeeper consumes petrol worth Rs1,000 daily for keeping bulbs and fans switched on using generator due to power cuts. How can we afford to pay fuel adjustment surcharge in electricity bills?” Zafar Qadri, general secretary Cantonment Traders’ Union questioned.

The leaders complained they were already facing multiple problems while the imposition of extra tax on electricity would affect both traders and customers and would consequently result in price-hike of commodities.