ISLAMABAD - Business community Thursday showed its deep concerns over the recent increase in electricity price and termed it an irrational decision, especially for industrial sector that is already facing enormous problems. The business community is of the view that industry is already under extreme pressure due to consistent power shortage and prevailing law and order situation where foreign investors are hesitating to invest. Businessmen told TheNation that cost of business would go up due to current hike in power tariff. It is worth mentioning here that the government increased power tariff by six percent on October 1. The government plans to increase electricity price further by 12 percent on January 1, 2010 and then 6 percent on April 1 till June 30, 2010. While talking to TheNation, Kashif Shabbir, President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the cost of production would further increase due to inflated electricity prices. He said, We are already facing tough competition in the international market and this increase would multiply our problems. He also said that nothing was going in the favour of business community, as the State Bank did not decrease the discount rate and maintained it on 13 percent and now the hike in electricity was adding fuel to fire. Commercial sector is also paying nine rupees per unit and the current hike would further increase the prices for the said sector, he added. President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Zahid Maqbool, told TheNation that industries were not able to fulfil the domestic needs in the current circumstances when power tariff was increasing continually. He said rental powers plants would also increase the prices of electricity so the government should review its decision. Ch Saeed, former president Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said that government was providing only 12 hours electricity to the industries and in this situation it was not understandable why the price of electricity had been increased. He said government should control line losses instead of raising power tariff. He said the cost of production in the country would increase further. He criticised the newly announced monetary policy as, he said, in the new policy it was stated that discount rate would remain unchanged because there was no economic growth in the country and by reducing discount rate, inflation would start to go up. Saeed said that inflation couldnt be curtailed in a situation when the prices of electricity were being raised. He urged the government to reduce either the prices of electricity or discount rate.