ISLAMABAD-Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has urged the government to abolish Time of Use (ToU) metering on electricity bills as the general consumers have to pay high rates of electricity during the peak hours due to the prevalence of ToU metering system in the country.

Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President ICCI, said the Time of Use (ToU) metering was introduced in Pakistan at a time when the country was facing great shortage of electricity and this system was enforced to discourage use of electricity.

However, he said, now Pakistan has become surplus in electricity as according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2019-20, the installed generation capacity of the country has exceeded 36000 MW while the maximum utilization of electricity in peak season was around 23,000-25,000 MW, which tumbled down to 12,000-13,000MW in the winter making the country having sufficient surplus electricity.

He said in this situation, there was no justification to continue with the ToU metering. Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said Pakistan was facing mounting circular debt issue, which has gone up to Rs.2.2 trillion. He said one of the best options to cope with the circular debt is to encourage maximum utilization of installed capacity of the electricity for which abolishing ToU metering was very important.

He said common man was currently facing miserable conditions due to high inflation while the doing away with ToU metering would bring down inflation and provide crucial relief to the common man.

He urged the government to also bring down gas tariffs for commercial and domestic consumers that would be helpful in promoting business activities and reducing inflation for the common man.

Senior Vice President ICCI, Fatma Azim and Vice President ICCI, Abdul Rehman Khan also urged the government to make further cut in the electricity tariffs for commercial and domestic consumers that would promote the use of electricity and generate more revenue for the government.

Due to usage of more electricity at low rates, government would be in a better position to cope with the circular debt issue, they added.