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KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain has said the plan to burden electricity consumers with an additional Rs1000 billion will distress them while adding to the inflation.

Coronavirus has already added to the miseries of the masses and more burdens will add to their financial problems, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that NEPRA has started public hearings to allow Faisalabad, Lahore, and Islamabad electric supply companies to hike their tariff while it will initiate hearings of seven other Discos soon. He said that the three discos have asked for an adjustment of Rs.676.9 billion while the seven others will also request the same which will increase the cost of state-run and private projects, increase the cost of industrial and agricultural production and hit the living standard of the masses.

He noted that government cannot stop or delay NEPRA from increasing power tariff it can reduce losses by investing in this sector, introduce reforms, and reduce line losses to save Rs.400 billion annually.

He said that all the IPPs and operators of Chinese power plants should be asked to reduce electricity, capacity charges, and extend the deadlines for repayment of loans.

Moreover, he said, recoveries should be improved so that there is no need to hike tariff repeatedly while ignoring investment and reforms will push the circular dent to the mark of Rs.4.6 billion over the next two years pushing up the power tariff to unprecedented levels which will hit damage the economy, he warned.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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