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Traders call for uniform power tariff in country

20 January, 2014

RAWALPINDI: The business community has demanded uniform power tariff across the country to provide a level-playing field to all the industrial sectors.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the presidents of the Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Faisalabad Chambers of Commerce and Industry have unanimously called for a uniform rate of electricity, particularly for commercial and industrial consumers, in all areas of the country to ensure that no undue advantage was provided to any specific area or industry.

They further said that the consumers of the entire country had been paying their share of fuel price adjustment (FPA) for the past five years. However, some industrialists from KP got stay orders from the court against power tariff increase as well as the levy of FPA in KP, they said.

"This situation has put the industrial sectors in the rest of the country at a serious disadvantage." Giving example, they said that on average, the difference of the electricity cost on a steel industry could be up to Rs 140 million a year.

"Such a huge difference cannot be accounted for nor justified under any circumstances." They said that due to such discriminatory rates, many industrial units, especially in higher power tariff regions, had already been forced to shut down, and that if this trend continued, the affects would be devastating. They said that thousands of people in the region had already lost their jobs due to closure of several industrial units.

"A large number of industrial workers are also facing a threat of losing their jobs and becoming unemployed, which may result in another serious economic challenge for the country," they added.

End.

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