(24th July 2023) United Business Group(UBG) representing the nation’s economic backbone, stands united in expressing profound concern and anxiety over the recent exorbitant increase in electricity tariffs. This hike has raised significant apprehensions among businesses, threatening to impact the purchasing power of consumers, lead to a decline in exports and investments, and potentially result in the closure of industrial units.
President UBG Mr. Zubair Tufail emphasizes that the surge in electric tariffs will have a devastating effect on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and cottage industries. Prior to this hike, Pakistan’s electricity tariffs were already among the highest in the region. With this recent increase, not only will businesses suffer, but the public at large will also be burdened. For the masses already grappling with numerous challenges, including rising utility costs, this added burden could lead to dire consequences such as a potential increase in corruption and theft.
Furthermore, the impact of this tariff hike is projected to be catastrophic, with a vast majority of Pakistanis being affected. Many people may be pushed further below the poverty line, causing a decline in the middle-class population and deepening social chaos. The business community is already facing multiple challenges, including fluctuations in the dollar exchange rate, gas and power load shedding, water scarcity, and a prevailing law and order situation.
It is evident that the increased electricity prices will lead to a multi-pronged tragedy for the business community. As a result, they call upon the government to reconsider and withdraw this unjustified increase before it sparks adverse reactions from the public.
President UBG vehemently rejects this tariff hike and urges the government to explore alternative solutions to fulfill commitments made to the IMF. Rather than burdening the already struggling masses, they propose that the government should focus on ceasing the provision of free electricity, gas, and petrol to privileged classes.
Zubair Tufail plea is for the government to acknowledge the potential detrimental consequences of this increase in electricity tariffs on the nation’s economy and livelihood. Addressing this concern will foster a positive business environment and demonstrate the government’s commitment to the prosperity and well-being of its citizens.