KARACHI - Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Abdul Majid Haji Muhammad has expressed concern on announced increase of power tariffs by 13.5 percent effective from next month and said that in presence of worst power crisis of history and highest-ever tariffs, the abrupt withdrawal of subsidy for facilitating and meeting the demand, will further aggravate the problems. Abdul Majid criticised the decision of increase in power tariff by the concerned quarter of the government and termed it a gift on the dawn of 2010 which will further aggravate the situation. He said that no improvement will come in the energy sector if we keep our hands tightened and blame the previous government for the present serious gas and fuel shortages. Abdul Majid stated that business community, especially the export-oriented industry and lifeline consumers will be penalised with the decision. Consumers using less than 100 units would be affected worse. He lamented that no concrete measures have been witnessed regarding improvement in power/ electricity distribution/ transmission infrastructure nor the loadshedding has been controlled. He said that the increased power tariffs and power outages have crippled the industry. Abdul Majid said that the Power Distribution Companies, particularly KESC, should take concrete measures to seriously curtail its transmission and distribution losses rather than adding on different charges to control its financial losses. The entire business community now demands the government to improve the efficiency of power distribution companies and do not increase the utility tariffs further for the larger interests of the economy and citizens of the country. APP: Meanwhile, Acting President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Muhammad Mansha Churra has expressed concern over the recent increase in power tariff by 13.5 percent, the total impact of which would be 15 percent after adding adjustments in terms of fuel charges during the Jan-Mar period for the lifeline consume and the agriculture sector. He said that the rise in electricity charges would further add to the misery of the people already overburdened by escalating price hike. He stated that more shocking is the fact that increase in electricity charges is made without any assurances that there will be no load shedding in future. The Acting President of FPCCI therefore, urged that the increase in power tariff should not be applicable for the life line consumers using less then 50 units per month. He added that this increase will have disastrous effect on the indigenous products cost of production and would render them uncompetitive both in the local and international markets. This would result in closure of industrial and increase in unemployment rate.