Karachi industrialists urge govt to release Rs28bn under incremental power consumption packageBreaking

February 23, 2024

Industrialists in Pakistan have demanded the government release the pending Rs28 billion under the incremental power consumption package. They sought immediate release of already earmarked Rs7 billion against previous incremental consumption package, and also demand that arrangements should be made for payment of the remaining Rs21 billion as a total of Rs28 billion have been pending on incremental consumption since long. The industrialists deplored that funds against the said incremental package have been released across Pakistan except Karachi. They said this was sheer injustice with the largest city of the country, which contributes about 70% revenue to the national exchequer. “Delays in release of overdue Rs28 billion under the previous incremental package has triggered a lot of anxiety amongst members of the business community, who are already perturbed due to skyrocketing cost of doing business triggered mainly by the exorbitantly high energy tariffs.

The immediate release of funds is now crucial to prevent the imminent risk of industrial shutdowns, which would have a deep impact on the already ailing economy, besides triggering massive unemployment,” asserted Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI). Highlighting the miseries being faced by Karachi-based industries, he said that it was really worrisome that substantial number of small and medium-sized industries had halted their production activities, whereas large-scale manufacturing units were going through the toughest of times and were on brink of collapse due to bad economic situation, unbearable energy tariffs, massive currency depreciation, high borrowing costs and colossal hike in input costs, which were rapidly plunging industries into a disastrous situation. Iftikhar Sheikh stressed that it was really important to address the concerns of Karachi-based industrialist to help foster an environment of equal opportunity and support.

“However, this is not happening at all as Karachi continues to face unfair treatment despite matchless contribution being made in the economic development of Pakistan.” “We hope that the lawmakers in Islamabad would realise the gravity of the situation and immediately issue directives for release of pending funds at the earliest,” he said. The KCCI president further stressed that the government should also implement its decision to offer power tariff at the rate of nine cents/KWh to industrial consumers of Karachi. He said that addressing the concerns on power-related issues was a must if the government wanted to uplift the economy, boost exports and attract investments. He noted that facilitation of industries in the city would lead the country towards sustainable economic growth.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan (INP)