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PESHAWAR: Traders community rejected frequent increase in power tariff terming it as detrimental for economy, businesses and industrial growth and warned to protest if prices will continue to rise.

The business community said the government has added to their miseries by increasing power, gas tariffs and imposing additional taxes. They asked the government to revise power tariffs immediately.

KP is producing electricity low-cost wherein electricity is unavailable to domestic, commercial and industrial consumers despite payment of power bills with heavy taxes, Ijaz Khan Afridi, acting president the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said while talking to this scribe here on Sunday.

Afridi said after the consistent electricity tariff hike, the cost of industrial production has massively increased which had brought inflation and hit poor people of the country. Also, he added it had been made hard to run businesses and industries after collecting heavy tariffs in power bills.

He severely criticized the government for failure in economic revival and alleviating miseries of traders’ community. He said additional taxes worth Rs438 billion in FY 2023-24 had been imposed, which was clear evidence of government flopped economic policies. He said if the government desired to put the national economy on the right track; it should take proactive steps for resolving issues which were being faced by the business community.

The SCCI’s acting chief said the strike call given by the petroleum association was manifestation of weak economic policies and asked the government to accept all genuine demands of the association because the business and industrial activities would be affected by suspension of supply of petroleum products and will also bring negative impacts on the economy.

Afridi also expressed concern over the government’s decision to collect Radio fees in power bills. He said only taxes were imposed while consumers were faced with hour-long electricity load shedding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “How the national economy will flourish and how the business community will be prosperous and give a boost to their business and industries in the prevailing circumstances”?

The SCCI’s acting chief asked the government to implement business-friendly policies to lead the country toward sustainable economic growth and development and proactive steps should be taken to resolve business community issues.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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