Small traders reject power tariff rise plan

Karachi: All Pakistan Organization of Small Traders and Cottage Industries APOST&CI has vehemently rejected the plan to raise electricity tariff by 61percent, terming it anti-people and anti-economy bid.

APOST&CI Karachi chapter president Mehmood Hamid said that the National Transmission and Dispatch Company NTDC has suggested further 61percent rise in power tariff which is unacceptable. He demanded of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority Nepra to reject this anti-trader and anti-consumer proposal.

Hamid said if this dangerous proposal is accepted about Rs28billion would be transferred from the pockets of consumers to the coffers of power distribution companies. He said the Karachi Electric Supply Company KESC has recovered Rs7bn from consumers in the name of power theft. He demanded a probe into this matter and refund of this money to Karachi electricity consumers.

He regretted that on one hand the duration of load shedding is on constant rise and on the other electricity tariff is also being periodically hiked. He said long spells of power outage coupled with irrationally high tariff are resulting in closure of industries, especially cottage industries in Karachi. He said this is a systematic conspiracy against Pakistani economy, as already capital is being shifted from Pakistan to other countries at very fast pace.

Hamid said the costly electricity and gas has already dented Pakistani exports and the proposed 61percent rise in electricity tariff would prove the last straw on camel’s back. He said the vested interests are trying to use the interim government in approval of 61percent rise in electricity tariff, which is highly regrettable. He said the main function of the caretaker setup is to conduct free and fair polls and leave the issues of economy and fiscal decisions to the coming elected government. He warned if the caretaker setup approved the proposed power traffic hike traders and people of Pakistan would strongly protest.