KARACHI - The hike in electricity and gas tariff is baseless and will leave the general public in great distress, said Muhammad Hussain, Amir Jamat-e-Islami Karachi. Addressing the business community at Idara-e-Noor-ul-Haq, he said: "We are not going to accept this hike in tariffs and we will equally participate in the protest with the business community against these unfair acts," he added. "The furnace oil price has gone down to Rs23,000 per ton. Previously, the rates were Rs62,000 per ton. This fact had reduced the generation of electricity by the KESC significantly. The KESC is increasing the tariff 70 per cent which is a vicious act. The progress of the company is very disappointing. The commercial areas in the City are facing prolonged loadshedding. Unemployment has increased in the country but it is ironic that the government is not considering providing relief to the public. The business community and the public will now start protest against it," he added. Previously, it was announced by the minister of water and power that the tariffs have been reduced to 40 per cent in October 2008. But later on, in November 2008, that relief was withdrawn and the company started enforcing their power for payment. "We are fighting for our rights and if we accept this increment, it would be difficult for us to survive in the business," said Ateeq Meer, chairman, Alliance of Market Association. Many other members from the business community had also expressed their views at the occasion. They demanded of the government to take substantial steps towards resolving these issues.