Power hike to ruin industries, shrink exports: Vohra

KARACHI: Chairman, SITE Association of Industry, Dr Arshad A Vohra, on Wednesday took a strong exception to the recent increase in electricity tariff for industrial, commercial and bulk consumers of all distribution companies including Karachi Electric Supply Company KESC with immediate effect.

“The power tariff hike will increase the cost of doing business and turn the country exports uncompetitive in the world markets as a result, the countries with less production cost will capture global markets being presently dominated by Pakistani exporters. This increase will mostly benefit textile industries of other countries at the cost of Pakistani industry as their products will become more attractive in the world market,” Vohra said in a statement.

He further said that the government should have taken all the stakeholders on board and understand the difficulties of increase in electricity rates before making any drastic changes in the electricity tariff. The one sided decision would result in massive loss to trade and industry and country’s exports, he added.

“The government is not in a position to provide uninterrupted power and gas supply to the Industry due to which industry is faced with higher cost of operating. The decision of hefty increase in power tariff is bound to damage the manufacturing sector and exports,” he observed.

He said that many fear massive closure of small scale units unless they find a way to transfer the additional burden on their buyers. “The power breakouts in a day affect production and sale. Now this increase in power prices will crush the small size manufacturers.”

Vohra urged President Syed Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah to intervene in the matter to reconsider the decision and review the power tariff to control fast galloping inflation and rapidly going up cost of doing business so as to save the industrial sector from total collapse.

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