PPI Original Text (PPI-OT) – Korangi Association of Trade and Industry rejects hike in power tariff

Karachi, May 18, 2012 (PPI-OT): Trade and industry has strongly criticized government policies to ruin country’s economy by raising utilities prices. In a statement, the Patron In-Chief Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) S M Muneer, Chairman Ehtesham Uddin, President All Karachi Industrial Alliance, Mian Zahid Hussain and Vice Chairmen, Hasham A Razzak and Tariq Malik and Chairman Press and Media Standing Committee, Syed Johar Ali Qandhari while rejecting 16 per cent increase in electricity tariff said that it would badly affect economic and industrial activities in the country resulting in massive shut down of industrial units and creating unemployment Government would have to chalk out a plan to convert oil-based power plants to coal-based plants, Muneer said.

He cited the example of India which was producing more than 60 per cent of electricity through coal and only six per cent through furnace oil. He was of the opinion that the government decision was bound to increase incidents of electricity pilferage which was 25 per cent of the 22 per cent line losses and eating up Rs50-75 billion.

“We already have the highest tariff in the region. How can the industry remain competitive at such a high cost of electricity which is one of the basic industrial raw materials,” Muneer said.

He said electricity tariff for industry was 10.5 cents in India, 10.75 cents in Bangladesh and 10.75 cents in Sri Lanka, but this in Pakistan was already 15 cents which was 45 per cent higher than these countries.

With this massive and unprecedented increase, we will have double the tariff what the regional countries are offering to their trade and industries, leaving Pakistan uncompetitive and unviable in the international market.

“Pakistan has already lost a number of international markets to China, Bangladesh and India because of high cost of doing business and the decision to increase power tariff will make Pakistani goods more uncompetitive.”

“Business community is unable to understand that instead of taking measures to control line losses and increase cheap power generation up to capacity, policies were being made to add to the miseries of businessmen”, Ehtesham Uddin said.

For more information, contact:
Nadeem Ahmed
Press Secretary
Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI)
ST-4/2, Sector 23, Korangi Industrial Area,
Karachi 74900
Tel: +9221 3506 1211 -2
Cell: +92346 2012346
Fax: +9221 3506 1215
Email: kati@kati.pk

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