KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain said that the continuous increase in the price of electricity and gas is beyond the tolerance of the people and the business community.
He said that the IMF wants electricity and gas not to be subsidized, and full cost recovery must be ensured.
However, the business community believes that if the government reduces the expenses by eliminating mismanagement, incompetence and corruption in these sectors, the prices can be reduced instead of increasing.
He said that the IMF is justified in its demand that electricity and gas should not be sold cheaper than the cost of production because, in this case, the government has to take huge loans.
He added that the people and the industrialists ask why they should pay the price for corruption, mismanagement and incompetence in electricity, gas and other sectors.
He said the agreements with the IPPs should also be revised because the people are bearing their effects.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that after the overall increase in gas prices by 194%, electricity rates are also likely to be increased soon, which will benefit the power sector but will affect people and business activities and further increase poverty in the country.
The high cost of living has forced people to continuously reduce the expenses of feeding themselves, childrens education and medical treatment, which will devastate the country s economy in the long run.
He said that the current caretaker government has yet to do any substantial work in the field of reforms but has considered increasing the price of everything as the solution to all problems, equivalent to indifference to the people s problems.
The caretaker government should take difficult and unpopular reforms and administrative measures as it focuses too much on administrative actions.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government s intervention had reduced the dollar s value, but it should be examined what was left behind in these measures, which is causing the dollar to rise again.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023