KCCI rejects electricity tariff hike, demands immediate withdrawal

KCCI rejects electricity tariff hike, demands immediate withdrawal

KARACHI: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has rejected the recent hike in electricity tariff and termed it disaster for the industry.

The chamber also demanded the government to immediate withdraw the increase in electricity tariff.

KCCI President Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan in a statement on Thursday said that the announcement of increase in rates of electricity ranging from Rs.1.09 to Rs.2.89 has come as a shock to the industries based in Karachi.

“This is yet another blow to the trade and industry which is already suffering from losses as a result of lockdowns during Covid-19 pandemic and again due to devastating rainfalls in the city which has caused losses in billions of rupees,” he added.

He urged Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to immediately withdraw this unjust and ill-timed hike in electricity tariff which would further aggravate the hardships for Karachiites who are struggling really hard to recover from devastating impact of coronavirus pandemic and subsequently the massive damage to their assets including buildings, warehouses, machinery and materials.

The damage is yet to be assessed when the water is cleared and some normalcy is restored.

He pointed out that ECC and higher authorities have shown utter disregard for the miseries and losses suffered by people of Karachi, by approving yet another electricity tariff hike because ECC had already imposed a tariff increase in July this year by Rs2.89 per with immediate effect.

Before the industrial, commercial and residential consumers could absorb the tariff hike in July’ 2020, yet another increase was approved to further squeeze the consumers in a calamity hit city.

“Indeed it is a huge disappointment that the Federal Government, instead of providing relief to the already burdened citizens of Karachi during the ongoing difficult times, continues to take anti-business and anti-Karachi actions.

“It is well known fact that the economic hub of Pakistan today is passing through worst possible crisis and suffering due to a crumbling infrastructure, lockdowns and urban flooding due to the heaviest rainfall in 90 year history”, he added.

On the one hand, the Prime Minister and Army Chief have shown their resolve to rescue the city of Karachi from complete destruction and economic fallout of natural as well as man-made disasters, while the ECC and honorable Advisors are taking decisions which are contrary to the commitments made by the Prime Minister and COAS, he opined.