President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, while welcoming the federal government’s willingness to provide cheaper electricity to industries on an incremental consumption basis for four months under the winter package, urged the government to take KCCI on board for finalising industrial tariffs based on the cost of service to tackle the issue of cross-subsidy for domestic users which is eroding the competitiveness of exports.
While referring to discussions with Federal Secretary, Ministry of Energy (Power Division) Rashid Mehmood Langrial during his last visit to KCCI, President KCCI said that although KCCI insisted discounted electricity rate of Rs18/KWh during the said meeting but after a lot of brainstorming, it was principally agreed to offer discounted electricity tariff of Rs20/KWh on incremental consumption during this year’s winter season. “Federal Secretary also committed to release Rs7 billion for incremental consumption during the said meeting and it has been more than a month now but no progress has taken place as KE has not given any adjustment against the committed Rs7 billion so far which needs to be expedited”, he added.
“Hence, there is no need to reconduct the exercise for introducing industrial tariffs on incremental consumption but if it really necessary then KCCI, which has already done a lot of homework in this context, should also be made party to decide industrial tariff under winter package”, he said, adding that in 2020, a discount scheme titled “Use more Pay Less Package” was offered at the rate of Rs 11.97/KWh for incremental consumption.
While fully appreciating and endorsing the efforts being made by Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), he stressed that the gas tariff should be cost-based while the cross subsidization must be discontinued immediately so that Pakistani exporters are able to compete with their regional competitors and improve their exports share in the international markets.
He was confident that discounted electricity tariff on incremental consumption along with discontinuation of cross-subsidy in industrial gas tariff would certainly put the country’s ailing economy on a path to progress and prosperity through industrialization, enhanced production activities and exports along with improved revenue for the government and abundant employment opportunities for the countrymen.