KARACHI - Business community of Karachi has expressed deep concern over power tariff hike, saying that it would increase the cost of doing business and render the country’s exports uncompetitive in world markets.

As a result of this tariff hike, they said, the countries with less production cost would capture global markets presently dominated by Pakistani exporters. This increase will mostly benefit textile industries of other countries at the cost of Pakistani industry as their products would become more attractive in the world market.

Chairman, S.I.T.E. Association of Industry Karachi, Dr Arshad A Vohra, has taken a strong exception to the recent increase in electricity tariff for industrial, commercial & bulk consumers of all distribution companies including Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited (KESCL) with immediate effect.

He said that the government should have taken all the stakeholders on board and understand the difficulties of increase in electricity rates before making any drastic changes in the electricity tariff, the one sided decision will result in massive loss to trade & industry and country’s exports .

The government is not in a position to provide uninterrupted power & gas supply to the industry due to which industry is faced with higher cost on operating below the capacity.

The decision of hefty increase in power tariff is bound to damage the manufacturing sector and exports, he lamented.

He said that many fear massive closure of small scale units unless they find a way to transfer the additional burden onto their buyers. The power breakouts in a day effects production & sale. Now this increase in power prices will crush the small size manufacturers. He further said that while agree for the increase in the electricity prices, however argues that this should have been done only after putting in place effective measures to stop power theft, improve governance of power companies and cutting huge transmission and distribution losses.