Plan to hike power tariff on IMF behest opposed. Move will amount to stabbing businesses in the back. Static power demand requires reduced tariff.

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(July 24, 2020)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said further increasing power tariff on the behest of IMF will amount to stabbing masses and the business community in the back.

The government should consider repercussions of the IMF directives while NEPRA should stop playing with statistics and provide some meaningful relief to the masses, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan produced 121 billion units of electricity during the fiscal year 2018, 122.7 billion units in 2019 and 122 billion units in 2020 which indicate the electricity demand is static and tall claims for economic development holds no water.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said stagnant electricity consumption is hitting government, masses and business community which can be increased by reducing the power tariff.

The former minister noted hydel power has increased to 30 percent of the energy mix which must be increased to reduce dependence on imported fuel. Power generation through furnace oil has been reduced to three percent from 30 percent while the gap has been filled through power generation with the help of imported coal.

Ignoring local coal and relying on imported coal is amazing, he said, adding that Pakistan is buying costly RLNG from Qatar and power generation thorough it costs Rs10 per unit while power generation with the help of coal is costing Rs6 per unit.

The government has improved energy mix reducing fuel import bill from Rs600 billion in 2019 by ten percent despite devaluation which is an achievement.

He noted that payments to private power plants according to the power generation will help reduce electricity tariff which will help masses, boost production and increase exports.

 

 

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