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KARACHI: President Federal B Area Trade and Industry (FBATI) Syed Raza Hussain has urged the government to provide a subsidised electricity tariff to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) of the Karachi to revive economic activity at an accelerated pace.

Speaking in a meeting with a delegation of K-Electric officials, president FBATI said the government should treat the traders of Karachi at par with the rest of the country by facilitating them with the subsidised cost of electric units, mainly to SMEs.

He added the government had allocated subsidised quotas for the export-oriented sectors in different cities of the country besides Karachi, depriving businessmen of their right to equal treatment, which cost them severe losses.

The FBATI chief also emphasized that the government should resolve the long-awaited matter of industrialists of Karachi, passing on the benefit of incremental units' consumption of electricity to consumers.

Industries in Karachi neither received subsidy on account of the incremental unit consumption of electricity last year nor this year but this particular relief has been provided to industrialists indifferent cities of the country, he remarked.

He mentioned that industries and utility companies, mainly electricity distribution and generation companies, should foster relationships to ensure uninterrupted power supplies to industrial zones, including the area under FBATI.

He urged the KE delegation to resolve issues of the industrial units regarding load enhancement in collaboration with the association and its members for a smooth supply of electricity to industrial units to ensure their uninterrupted production.

Fawad Gillani, Chief Distribution Officer at K-Electric, said the power utility is transforming its system into a customer-centric organization with a proper mechanism to address the company's issues, mainly the industrial customers, to resolve their issues on a priority basis.

He further mentioned that K-Electric is working proactively to provide new connections to industrial customers through a one-window system requirement to submit limited documentation for legal compliance.

He lauded the role of associations for supporting the power utility in removing the illegal connections of the residential areas and shanty towns through active drives, adding that the high cost of electricity is one of the reasons for increasing electricity theft in the city.

Masoor Alvi, Chairman of Utility Committee FBATI, said the industrial activity in Karachi witnessed a slight sustainability in the past two months, which is a good omen for the economy, but uncertainty remains prevailing.

He mentioned that the industrial activity and expansion witnessed in the commercial capital for the past two months after a very long time, but this expansion did not continue due to various reasons on the political and economic front. He appreciated the role of K-Electric in addressing the issues of industrial customers with the marked improvement in the supply system.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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