SCCI rejects increase in power tariff

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Rejecting the increase in power tariff under the monthly fuel price adjustment by NEPRA, Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry termed the step as not acceptable under the 18 to 20 hours' long electricity load shedding. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority had notified an increase of Rs 5.82 per unit under monthly Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA) from August 2012 to March 2013, which was not totally unacceptable and unviable mechanism, said Dr Mohammad Yousaf Sarwar, President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Saturday.

He said the prices of electricity are much high as compared to international rates. A 100 percent surge witnessed in power rates during last three years in the country, despite the circular debt issue was unresolved, he deplored. Dr Sarwar said that the step is a conspiracy to create hostility among power consumers and new elected government in the country. He viewed that the interim government has not given mandate to increase the rate of electricity.

"No practical step was taken for overcoming with surging line losses and utilising sources for generating cheapest electricity, but only taking such unjustifiable steps to create problems for business community and power consumers, SCCI President added. Dr Sarwar said the increase in the power tariff would ultimately affect both domestic and commercial consumers, which are paying their dues regularly, while the line losses are very nominal. He said that the decision would create an outrage among the power consumers, which is not acceptable for a democratically elected government at this juncture.

He said that the business and economic activities have been hit hard due to unprecedented power outages in the provincial capital, whereas industries are being shifted to Bangladesh, China and India in present energy shortages in the country. He criticised that former ruling government faced defeat due to failure of managing and redressing electricity issue.

SCCI Chief said that the new-elected Nawaz Sharif-led government should take pre-emptive steps for overcoming current energy crisis and to take up issue of power tariff increase with interim government and NEPRA. He demanded of the interim government to immediately revise the decision of increase in power tariff and end the excessive electricity load shedding.

Courtesy: BR

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