Electricity price hike a big blow to businesses: LCCI

LAHORE   -  The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has termed Rs7.05 per unit electricity price hike a big blow to the trade and industry.

In a statement, President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kashif Anwar, Senior Vice President Zafar Mahmood Chaudhry and Vice President Adnan Khalid Butt said that National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has jacked up the power tariff by Rs. 7.05 per unit on account of fuel charges adjustment (FCA). They said that repeated hike in power tariff is hitting exports and local businesses alike. LCCI office-bearers said that the government has increased the electricity prices many times. They said that the majority of people have been sent bills many times more than their monthly income.

They said that electricity is the main input for the industries, if such anti-industry measures are not avoided, the manufacturing sector will be completely destroyed and the country will remain only a trading place. The LCCI office-bearers said that the cost of electricity in Pakistan is already very high compared to other countries in the region and Pakistani products will be completely out of competition in the international market. They said that the country has already lost much of the global market to Bangladesh and India due to high production costs. They said that more burden is being put on those customers who are paying their dues regularly and whose line losses are least.

They said that the trend of theft will increase due to the increase in electricity prices. The business community is unable to understand why instead of controlling line losses and increasing generation of cheap power through renewable resources, their problems are being compounded. They said that the growth rate of the manufacturing sector should be eye-opener for the policy makers. They urged the government to take immediate notice of the situation and announce an immediate reduction in electricity prices.

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