KARACHI - Pakistan electricity tariff for the industrial sector is far higher than the industrial sectors of regional countries, as a result of which the export targets have not been met and the current increase in tariff would cause further decline in the fiscal year 2009, exporters told The Nation. The Pakistani industrial sector is currently suffering 9 cents per unit, which is higher than the electricity tariff for the industrial sectors of the South Asian region, claimed the exporters. A Karachi based businessman pointed out that the electricity charges for the industrial sectors of Bangladesh is 5.23 cents per unit, Sri Lanka 7.28 cents, India 8.14 cents and 8.5 cents in China, which reflects considerable decline as compared to the charges set for the Pakistani industrial sector. He said that this wide indifference in the electricity tariff has hardly hit the competitiveness of the Pakistani industry in the international market. When the prices of electricity are increased the cost of production ultimately goes up which compels the business community to increase the prices of their outputs, he said, and warned that continued hike in the electricity charges would diminish the ability and competitiveness of our industry, which may lead to unavailability of Pakistani made products in the international market. He pointed out that the industrial sector consumes more than 40 percent of the total electricity in Pakistan. Despite being the major stakeholder, the Industrial sector was the worst affected of this higher power tariff in Pakistan. Regretting over attitude of government, he said the business community have never been consulted for the decision of sharp increase in power tariff. He strongly demanded that when ever decision is taken for increase in electricity tariff all the stakeholders must be taken on board. The ultimate result of this power tariff hike will be in increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), he said and added the consequently the inflation will further rise in the country. He warned that the persistent incompetitiveness owing to higher energy cost may affect the exports while further deterioration in the current account balance, outflow of foreign exchange, investment and unemployment are the ultimate consequences of the energy crises which can result into massive public unrest in the country.   "The Pakistan's energy demand is rising rapidly as country's economy has been growing at an average of 6 percent and a very strong positive relationship exists between economic growth and energy demand", he maintained. Informing about the demand supply gap he said the shortfall in supply and demand which averaged 2000 MW during the last 2 years while by the end of 2010, this deficit could be as large as 6000 MW. In view of rapid growth in industrial production, the requirement of energy especially in form of electricity has increased manifold, another exporter of textile sector said, adding, unfortunately the concerned authorities of government did not mange according the growing demand of electricity in the country as electricity production does not cope with the demand which is increasing by 10 to 12 percent per annum.