ISLAMABAD   -    The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has strongly rejected the 55 paisa per unit hike in power tariff allowed by NEPRA to all power distribution companies on account of fuel adjustment charges for April 2019 and termed it an unfavorable decision for the economy as it would further enhance the cost of doing business, increase inflation and affect the growth of business and industrial activities.

In a statement issued here on Thursday, President ICCI Ahmed Hassan Moughal, Senior Vice President Rafat Farid and Vice President Iftikhar Anwar Sethi said that Pakistan’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels for energy generation was the main cause of high production cost due to which our exports were facing stiff competition in international market.

They said that during the month of April 2019, over 22 percent electricity was generated from hydel sources at zero cost, which showed that hydroelectricity was the cheapest source of energy for the country and should be exploited fully for better economic development of the country. It was high time that government should make transition from conventional and to renewable energy sources for generating cheap electricity, they added.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that government should reduce duties and taxes on renewable energy related equipment in the forthcoming budget to make this source of energy easily accessible for people.

He said energy generated through fossil fuels was not only very costly, it was also threatening for environment while government was also spending billions of dollars on import of oil. Compared to it, the renewable energy was environment-friendly and cost-effective, therefore, government should pay more attention to this important source of energy.

ICCI President said that SBP should work with commercial banks to come up with attractive financing tools for private sector to cover up the initial cost of installation of renewable energy including solar, wind, biogas and others.

He said that a wide range of green technologies were available in the world for environment-friendly power generation while many countries have successfully utilized these technologies to develop industrial infrastructure for achieving raid economic growth.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal urged that Pakistan should learn from their knowledge and experience for producing green energy to ensure sustainable economic growth of the country. He emphasized that government should make substantial investment and provide policy support for a successful transition from conventional to renewable energy.