Monday, November 28

Trade: (ICCI resents passing on burden of Rs.180 billion to power consumers)

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has strongly resented the move of the outgoing government to adjust the financing of Rs.180 billion commercial loans in power consumers tariff through a surcharge as it would put additional burden on the business community and bring great miseries to the common man.

It called upon the caretaker government to withdraw this decision in the larger interest of the economy. Sheikh Amir Waheed, President ICCI, said that the outgoing government had taken commercial loans of Rs.180 billion to reduce the circular debt which has been built in the consumers’ tariffs which was not a wise move.

He said Pakistan was generating most of the electricity through furnace oil that was the major cause of rising circular debt and high cost of doing business. He said the costly energy has made our exports uncompetitive in the international market.

He said Pakistan was spending billions of dollars annually on the import of oil for electricity generation and this practice was putting additional pressure on the forex reserves of the country as well.

Sheikh Amir Waheed urged upon the policymakers and the government to reduce the heavy reliance on thermal power and focus on indigenous energy sources including hydro and alternative sources.

He said this approach would lead to generation of cheap energy, reduce production cost, facilitate better growth of business activities and enhance exports, encourage new investment, create more jobs, promote industrialization and strengthen the economy.