Government can generate more revenue through new investment instead of power tariff hike: All Pakistan Business Forum
Lahore, August 22, 2013 (PPI-OT): Rejecting the huge jump in electricity tariff for industry from Rs9.18/KWH to Rs14.82 under the new energy policy, the APBF executive committee has asked the government to generate revenue through new investments in energy sector by attracting oversees Pakistanis introducing better regulations as economy cannot grow in presence of energy crunch.
Addressing the executive committee meeting held here on (day), the All Pakistan Business Forum chairman Nabeel Hashmi, said that access to energy is imperative to transform lives but it does not mean to increase power tariff up to 74 per cent in one go, saying the move is likely to have serious repercussions on the economy and masses.
The meeting was also addressed by Mr Yaqoob Izhar, Mudasser Masood, Central Executive committee members, Mr Munir K. Bana President APBF Sind Chapter and Mr Faisal Shah President APBF Fata.
Nabeel Hashmi said that the government’s move was against its manifesto of economic revival and poverty alleviation, adding that this step would raise products’ prices by at least 33 per cent.
He observed that average electricity tariff for industry in the region is below 10 cents against 14.4 cents in Pakistan, as power tariff cost in China, India,Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is 8.5 cents, 11.3 cents, 7.3 cents and 9.2 cents respectively.
He said that industries already face deteriorating law and order situation, complexity of taxes, curtailed supply of gas and now the power tariff hike would further hit the exports and the revenue.
Addressing the meeting APBF Central Vice President Mr Imtiaz Rastgar suggested the government to evolve a mechanism to become more effective in facilitating investments in the country and for this purpose oversees Pakistanis should be given maximum incentives to win their trust.
He said that overseas Pakistanis are one of the biggest sources to boost economy of the country adding that Overseas Chinese and Indians have made huge investment in their respective countries.
He said that government failed to attract foreign investment particularly in energy sector, as the present process of approval of projects discourages investors. There is need to work on a one window system where the investor can be provided all necessary information and facilities.
“If government serves its overseas Pakistanis and take initiatives by providing them incentives then they can play a vital role in boosting Pakistan’s economy through their remittances and investments for the socio economic prosperity of Pakistan”, he remarked.
Imtiaz observed that such an unprecedented increase in electricity tariff is mounting the cost of production on account of electricity cost, interest rate and high labour cost due to comparatively low productivity comparing with India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The APBF executive body was of the view that electricity tariff, financial burden and labour cost due to comparatively low productivity are set to cast dark clouds over employment, exports and growth and needs immediate review of situation by the government.
The meeting urged the government to withdraw increase in industrial tariff and let it sustain by making drastic cuts in interest rates so that growth and labour productivity issues could be overcome.
APBF also resolved and demanded the government to take accountability of the utility companies staff that has colluded with power and gas theft consumers also.
For more information, contact:
Umair Ali Khan
All Pakistan Business Forum
140 – Main Quaid-E-Azam Industrial Estates,
Kot Lakhpat, Lahore 54760
Phone: +92 42 35116465
Fax: +92 42 35115295
Tell: +92 307 7778234