Shakeel Munir, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the NEPA has approved a massive hike of Rs. 4.30 per unit in the power tariff on account of the Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA) for November 2021, which is not justified as it would put extra burden of Rs.35 billion on power consumers, further escalate production cost and increase inflation leading to detrimental impact on the economy. He urged that the government should withdraw this increase to save the power consumers and businesses from further troubles. He said that passing on the burden of poor performance of power utilities to the consumers was not justified by any standards.
Shakeel Munir said that Pakistan the total debt & liabilities of Pakistan have crossed Rs.50 trillion for the first time in country’s history that has the potential to compromise our national security. He said that the best way for Pakistan to get rid of its debt burden was to promote businesses, investment and exports. However, the repeated hikes in power tariffs, POL products and increase in policy interest rate have made significant increase in the cost of doing business due to which it was becoming difficult for the business community to compete in the international market for exports. He said that electricity was a major input for many industries and making addition of Rs.4.30 per unit in the electricity bills of November would further increase their production cost. He urged that the government should reduce its dependence on thermal power and focus on renewable energy sources including hydro, solar and wind to produce cheap energy that would bring down production cost, reduce inflation and make our exports more competitive in the international markets.
Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh Senior Vice President and Muhammad Faheem Khan Vice President ICCI said that the government was assuring to promote the ease of doing business to facilitate the growth of private sector. However, repeated hike in electricity & gas tariffs and oil prices were creating more difficulties for SMEs and the industrial sector.