President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo has shown concern over electricity tariff hike and disconnection of gas for the industry. He said that instead of reforming the energy sector, the adhoc and painful decisions are being made detriment to domestic industry.
He said that the much awaited outcome of negotiations between IPPs and government which was considered to be directed towards reduction in base tariff do not assures any decrease in the base tariff, which again is shocking outcome questionable as the private sector was of the view that the report published on IPPs which was required to be further expanded towards the eventual objectives of resulting in the reduced cost of energy for increasing the competitiveness of economy and mitigating the inflationary trapped and consumption requirement of the poor segment of the economy.
He said that the spokesman on the energy has attributed the need of tariff hike due to bad and corrupt agreements made with IPPs in the past. He said that if so, such situation requires to be corrected through invoking all the civil and criminal remedies to correct the agreements by excluding the pay or take, reducing O&M cost, converting the repatriation cost from dollar indexation to rupee and relevant recommended measures in the report.
He said that while appreciating the present government in ordering the inquiry in respect of agreement with IPPs, the outcome does not appear to be reciprocating for base tariff reduction and availability of electricity sale at reduced cost. He further said that the announcement of Rs. 40 billion per year off-take of financial burden on Government is marginal even against the present announced tariff base hike wherein one rupee hike is over charging consumers of Rs. 100 billion on consumption of electricity.
President FPCCI also said that such on & off increase in tariff is coming in the way of economic development, in specific loaded by the carried forward adverse effect of COVID-19.
The hike if is linked to any part of the memorandum of understanding with IMF can be fairly convinced for freezing such tariff hike when IMF itself projected low economic growth. Such duplicity cannot be justified.
On the other side the predictable outward and inward oriented trade has become hostage of keep on increasing gas prices and intending to disconnect the gas supply of captive power plants.
He said that mismanaged RLNG cargoes by the Petroleum Division are also answerable to such abrupt and non-justified late decisions.