LAHORE  -  The business community, while appreciating the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) for decreasing electricity price by Rs2.19 per unit for September under a monthly fuel adjustment formula, has urged the authority to cut the electricity rate on permanent basis. 

They also welcomed the government plan of shutting down all expensive oil based power plants (IPPs) to ensure availability of cheaper energy for consumers. In a joint statement along with Senior Vice Chairman Tanveer Ahmed Sufi and Vice Chairman Khawaja Shahzeb Akram, PIAF Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh lamented that the previous government did not pay heed on rehabilitation and maintenance of old power plants which caused several system constraints inflicting heavy losses. 

The PIAF chairman urged the power ministry to identify system constraints, communicate targets to all the concerned departments to initiate upgradation of transmission system on war footing. He called for completing all ongoing power projects well before time. He said that production of hydel power has been increased while furnace oil price is constantly declining in the international markets. 

The authority, therefore, should not restrict the relief to one month only rather it should make decrease in the power tariff on permanent basis, he added. He said that business-friendly policies must be adopted as other neighboring countries of the region are giving to trade and industry. The amount specified in trade policy should be utilised for the promotion of exports by giving incentives to the trade and industry and by exploring new markets, he suggested.