LCCI decries power tariff hike plan

Lahore: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Friday expressed deep concern over the reported plan to increase power tariff.

In a statement, LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir, Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan and Vice President Haris Ateeq said that on the one hand the government is planning to increase the power tariff that will be a big blow to the industrial sector in general and export-oriented industry in particular while at the other, the government has taxed the solar energy equipment to discourage the cheape source of energy.

“In Pak­istan bulk of electricity is pro­duced through oil-run power gen­er­a­tors that has kept the en­ergy rates volatile to the ex­tent that it is fast crush­ing the eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties”, the LCCI office-bearers said.

 They said that hike in power tariff is a fu­tile ex­er­cise and will not be do­ing any ser­vice to the gov­ern­ment un­less and un­til it makes a plan to re­move in­ef­fi­cien­cies in the power sec­tor.

 The LCCI office-bearers said that be­sides con­trol­ling line losses and electricity theft, the gov­ern­ment will have to chalk out a plan to con­vert oil-based power gen­er­a­tors to alternate sources.

 They feared that the government’s plan to increase the power tariff will in­crease the in­ci­dents of electricity theft that is al­ready one of the biggest challenges being faced by the power sector.

 How the in­dus­try will re­main com­pet­i­tive at such a high tar­iff of electricity which is one of the ba­sic in­dus­trial raw ma­te­ri­als”, they questioned and said that Pakistani merchandise are facing challenges to keep their existence in the international market while further increase in the power tariff will make the things more difficult.

 Mian Nauman Kabir, Mian Rehman Aziz Chan and Haris Ateeq urged the government to shun the plan of power tariff hike and encourage the alternate energy resources in the larger interest of the industrial sector and the economy.