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Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry criticizes Government’s plan to pass electricity liability on consumers to pay circular debt of Rs136billion

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Islamabad, January 09, 2013 (PPI-OT): Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) strongly criticized the Government plan to pass on another electricity liability on consumers to pay off the circular debt of Rs.136billion.

Mr.Mehmood Ahmed Waraich, Senior Vice President ICCI said that Government should not pursue the policy of burdening the consumer further because this proposed plan shows the fecklessness of the Government instead of tackling the problem of circular debt by adopting an economic stimulus plan.

He said that it is highly unjustified that the government is now making consumers to pay for the debt it has accumulated which would hit investments, manufacturing, exports, trade besides increasing the incidence of electricity pilferage.

Mr.Waraich was of the view that common man was already facing severe economic crisis because of constant hike in inflation on everyday basis, thus passing on of exorbitant electricity liability would make the lives of the people more difficult.

He said that people in general and the industry in particular, continue to suffer long blackouts despite the almost doubling of the price of electricity in the last four years. ICCI Senior Vice President said that the government in 2008, had promised to revamp the power sector and to end electricity shortages. Since then, it had raised the price of electricity by more than 85 percent to eliminate subsidies, but had failed to implement reforms to make the power sector efficient.

Mr.Saeed Ahmed Bhatti, Vice President ICCI said that circular debt has been caused by government entities like railway, PIA, Pakistan Steel Mill etc, including the provincial and federal government departments not paying their utility bills, resulting in the power companies being cash-strapped and unable to pay for the fuel for their generation plants.

Therefore, Government should tackle the problem of circular debt by plugging the holes which allow so much money to leak away instead of pass on electricity liability on consumers to pay off the circular debt.

He asserted that there was a need to evolve a new policy to attract private sector investment in energy sector to overcome the gap between the demand for energy and its supply.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526 and 225 3145
Fax: +9251 225 2950
Email: icci@brain.net.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk

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