PESHAWAR -  Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has termed the proposed increase in electricity tariff by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) as unjust decision, which would hit inflation-hit people and business community hard, and demanded to withdraw this decision forthwith.

In a statement issued here on Saturday, SCCI president Haji Afzal said that there was no justification of increase in electricity tariff due to prolonged power suspension, outages, and voltage issue. He said the electricity is being supplied on high rate in province, while electricity was produced at low cost.

The chamber president said the hike in power tariff would not only affect terrorism-hit industries of KP, but it also further decrease already low export volume with Afghanistan and other Central Asian Republic countries.

He urged the federal and provincial governments to bring down rates of electricity along with provision of other incentives to give boost to the exports. He also demanded the steps for stabilization of the terrorism-affected economy of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Instead of increasing power tariff, the SCCI chief said the measures should be taken to eradicate power theft and load-shedding in the country. He said industrial development and growth has become stagnant due to terrorism, extremism, coupled with unannounced electricity loadshedding. He said the industrial sector would further affect with increase in power tariff by Nepra.

The SCCI president demanded of the federal government to take back the decision of making an increase in electricity rates, because it was completely unjustified under the prevailing circumstances. He said despite the price-hike, Nepra also increased electricity tariff by Rs.3.90 per unit, which was unacceptable to business community and people as well. He warned that they would be compelled to take extreme step, if the decision was not withdrawn forthwith.