Karachi (PR): Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry has strongly opposed the massive raise in electricity tariff up to 74 percent and termed it as a murder of Trade & Industry of Pakistan. He also said that this act of the new government is against its manifesto of poverty reduction in the country. He said that due to this increase in electricity rate the prices of all products would go up at least 33 percent.
Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik, President, FPCCI, further said that industry is already facing severe crises due to deteriorating law & order situation, complexity of taxes, curtailed supply of Gas etc. The increase in tariff would ultimately increase the price of products; cause inflation to rise further, lower GDP growth, increase unemployment and also affect the government revenue and country’s exports. Pakistan Industrial sector especially the large scale manufacturing sector which has been growing at an average 4% growth rate and consumes more than 40% of the total electricity in Pakistan.
Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik, further stated that in the wake of frequent fluctuations industry is mostly using generators which are operated on Furnace oil/Diesel which adds to the cost and is no longer able to compete in the international market the present hike during non-peak hours and peak hours shall further aggravate the situation leading to slow death of the industrial sector.
The present hike in electricity will also affect the domestic consumers as the electricity distribution companies have already installed Multi-tariff Meters at residences whereby during peak hours commercial rates are charged. This increase in commercial rates shall thus automatically be applicable to the residential consumers of 200 or more units. This will prove to be the last straw for the middle class & upper middle class. This act of the government is a conspiracy to make it unpopular in the general public and industrialists alike.
In view of all the above factors, Mr.Zubair Ahmed Malik President urged upon the government to immediately withdraw the current unjustified hike in electricity tariff.