Industrialists have strongly opposed the anticipated increase of Rs5.36 per unit in base electricity tariff citing that it would strike a blow to the industry.

Resenting frequent hikes in the power tariff, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) former president Mian Anjum Nisar said it would turn Pakistani products uncompetitive in the international market. According to a statement issued on Saturday, he termed it unfortunate that the average electricity uniform rate would gradually rise to Rs21.04 per unit and that too after excluding taxes, duties and surcharges.

The cumulative impact of the rebasing in July 2021 has been worked out at a burden of Rs414 billion on the power consumers, said Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir.

FPCCI Senior Vice President Shahzeb Akram called for introducing power sector reforms, resolving the matter of overbilling, technical losses and transmission issues and stressed promotion of off-grid solutions and incentives for renewable energy solutions.

Read: Industrialists reject power tariff hike, cut in gas supply

“If the government failed to take immediate measures, the power sector is likely to choke up due to hefty outstanding dues,” he voiced fear.

Overall, power sector reforms can include shutting down inefficient IPPs, re-negotiating with IPPs, introducing reforms in government-owned power producing plants, improving efficiency and reducing costs of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) plants.

Besides, the government can also introduce solar agricultural tube wells in Balochistan collaboration with the provincial government to reduce cost for farmers, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2021.

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