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Business community demands uniform power tariff across the country

Rawalpindi: Business community has demanded uniform power tariff across the country to provide a level playing field to all the industrial sectors.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, the Presidents of Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Faisalabad Chambers of Commerce and Industry have unanimously called for a uniform rate of electricity particularly for commercial and industrial consumers in all areas of the country to ensure that no undue advantage is provided to any specific area or industry.

They further said that the consumers of the entire country had been paying their share of fuel price adjustment (FPA) for the past five years. However, some industrialists from KP got stay orders from the court against power tariff increase as well as the levy of FPA in KP. This situation has put the industrial sectors of rest of the country at a serious disadvantage.

Giving example, they said on an average the difference of the electricity cost on a steel industry can be up to Rs.140 million annually. Such a huge difference cannot be accounted for nor justified under any circumstances.

They said due to such discriminatory rates, many industrial units especially in higher power tariff regions had already been forced to shut down and if this trend continues, the affects will be devastating.

The region had already lost thousands of jobs due to closure of several industrial units. A large number of industrial workers are also facing threat of losing jobs and becoming unemployed which may result in another serious economic challenge for the country, they added.

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