ISLAMABAD - While criticizing the current hike in electricity tariff under monthly fuel adjustment mechanism, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry demanded that fuel adjustment formula should be revamped as it is impacting the trade and industry in a negative way as well as general masses in general.

ICCI President Yassar Sakhi Butt said that current hike of Rs.6.39 per unit in the electricity tariff under monthly fuel adjustment mechanism is the second massive hike immediately after Rs.3.03 per unit increase in the electricity tariff which NEPRA approved a few days ago that would also be recovered in the billing of month of March. He said that the combined effect of the two times consecutive increase would be about 122 percent that would render an additional burden of Rs.9.42 per unit on all consumers.

ICCI President was of the view that high power tariff is a big burden on businesses and consumers that could be reduced by utilizing the available water resources more efficiently as the water is the most viable and cheapest way to produce electricity. Thus, government should execute the ongoing dam projects on emergent basis to cope with the looming electricity crisis as negative economic growth is observed in the past few years.

He said that Pakistan Pakistani exports are loosing buyers in the international market because of high cost of doing business and the decision to increase power tariff under monthly fuel adjustment system would make the Pakistani goods more uncompetitive. He urged the Government to reduce electricity tariff because competitiveness would be the key to survive under the Most Favoured Nation status regime with economically strong neighbouring country India.

Yassar Sakhi Butt said that power outages and rampant electricity tariff hike approved by NEPRA on monthly basis has been ruining industrial growth. Therefore, NEPRA should also take notice of outages being resorted to as the growing electricity outages, resulting in a slow down of economic activity throughout the country, he said.

He said that common man was already facing severe economic crisis because of constant hike in inflation on everyday basis. Levying of exorbitant fuel adjustment charges of more than 100 percent per unit only in the month of March would make the lives of the common man more difficult, he added.

ICCI President stressed the government to review the monthly fuel adjustment clause of NEPRA because there was no justification in passing on the cost of inefficiency, line losses and theft in the power sector to the consumers.