Massive Hike is the Worst Anti-Business MeasurePresident FPCCI


Karachi Echoing the collective concerns of the business, industry and trade community of Pakistan, Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has termed the latest PKR. 7.5 / kWh hike in the electricity tariff as anti-business. We have already become uncompetitive vis-à-vis regional and sub-regional countries; due to the grossly-unfavorable cost of doing business environment in the country and there is no way we can absorb the added burden, he added.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh explained that businesses were already paying close to PKR. 60 / kWh – when accounted for all billing components, i.e. base tariff, surcharges, sales tax, income tax, excise duty, fuel adjustment charges (FAC) and fixed charges; and, now this massive increase will bring the business, industrial and commercial activities to a complete halt.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh maintained that rather than burgeoning the regularly paying consumers of electricity; the government needs to curb electricity theft and control line losses as it will plug leakages from the system and generate revenues for the government.

He added that, as President of the apex body, he is under tremendous pressure from all 250 trade bodies, associations, chambers and sectors to negotiate with the government on their behalf; and, persuade the withdrawal of the latest hike. I hope that the better sense will prevail, he added.
Irfan Iqbal Sheikh explained that cost of electricity results in a multiplier effect through increasing the cost of doing business at every stage – from production to the delivery to the end-consumer. He questioned that, IMF itself has recently admitted that Pakistan did not receive adequate aid in the aftermath of the most devastating floods of its history, why the government is still not being able to present their case?

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh added that the business community is the most peace-loving& law-abiding community of the country. They run the economy & the country through generating taxes, employment and economic growth; but, they are being incessantly mistreated through the most untimely, regressive and anti-business measures.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that Prime Minister and Finance Minister need to immediately take stock of the brewing frustration; defaults on electricity bills; impending bankruptcies and un-fulfillment of the export orders – and, start the much needed consultative process with the business community.

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