PIAF wants cut in power rates on permanent basis
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The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front (PIAF), while appreciating the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority for decreasing electricity price by 99-paisa per unit under the quarterly tariff adjustment (QTA) formula, has urged the authority to cut the electricity rate on a permanent basis.
The tariff cut will become effective from Feb and remain in place until April 2022 and provide about Rs22 billion relief to the consumers in these three months. The adjustment was on account of various cost variations for the 4th quarter (March-June) of 2020-21. The lower tariff will be applicable to the consumers of all Discos.
PIAF senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed and vice chairman Javed Siddiqi, in a joint statement issued here today, also welcomed the government plan of shutting down all expensive oil-based power plants (IPPs) to ensure the availability of cheaper energy for consumers.
Nasir Hameed lamented that the previous government did not pay attention to rehabilitation and maintenance of old power plants which caused several system constraints inflicting heavy losses.
He urged the power ministry to identify system constraints, communicate targets to all the concerned departments to initiate up-gradation of the transmission systems on a war footing. He called for completing all ongoing power projects well before time. He said that production of hydel power has been increased while the 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 a decrease in the power tariff on a permanent basis, he added.
PIAF vice chairman Javed Siddiqi said that business friendly policies must be adopted as other neighbouring 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.
He said that the high cost of doing business has proved to be dangerous for Pakistan's industry, discouraging investment both in capacity and capability, calling for lessening the burden of heavy taxes on the power sector.
He said that the constant hike in power tariff on the plea of fuel adjustment has pushed the electricity prices higher and added to the already soaring cost of trade and industry. Seeking the same competitive energy tariffs for domestic industries to capture the global market, he said that due to the high rates of electricity, power theft became rampant as the tariff was not affordable for the consumers.