KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, while referring to NERPA’s Public Hearing held on Wednesday, rejected the Regulator’s decision to give go ahead to K-Electric for raising Fuel Cost Adjustment (FCA) by Rs1.495 per unit whereas the government was also mulling to increase electricity base tariffs by Rs4 to Rs5 per unit under IMF’s agreement which would terribly raise the cost of doing business and give a serious blow to the exports as well as local production.
In a statement issued, President KCCI pointed out that as per agreement with the IMF, the government is considering to raise electricity tariffs which is really worrisome and the miseries intensify further when we see that KE is also being given go ahead to raise FCA. “FCA is also part of the electricity tariff but it seems that the public is being put in double jeopardy by applying increase in FCA separately along with hike electricity base tariff under IMF’s agreement”, Tariq Yousuf said, “We fully understand that the government has to fulfill its commitments made to the IMF but the industry and the masses should not be overburdened by raising the FCA which has got nothing to do with IMF’s agreement.”
He was of the view that the unprecedented increase in electricity base tariff would create a miserable situation for the businesses and the economy as the already depleting exports would rapidly go down further and Pakistani exporters will be kicked out of the international exports arena. He said that the electricity consumers were already paying hefty electricity tariff of around Rs50 per unit including the FCA, quarterly adjustments, surcharge and taxes etc. which, the business community fears, may even go up to Rs65 to Rs70 per unit as the electricity tariff was being increased so frequently.
He said that the consumers were being penalized for KE’s failure to generate cheaper electricity as it was a well-known fact that KE’s power generation cost stands the highest. “The government must compel KE to focus on renewable energy so that the consumers could be saved from facing the burns of FCA every month”, he added.
He further said that the Karachi Chamber has been vociferously demanding to end KE’s monopoly by introducing at least four to five more players in the power generation and distribution network of Karachi which was the only way forward to save the masses and the industry from the looting being carried out by KE under the pretext of FCA. “Competition in the power sector would certainly provide relief to consumers who will have the option to select the most efficient electricity provider with lowest rates”, he opined and appealed the government to take action before it’s too late.