Pakistan Business Council calls for cut in electricity prices for economic growth
- Web Desk
- Dec 29, 2023
WEB DESK: The Pakistan Business Council (PBC), the nation’s foremost corporate sector advocacy platform, is calling on government authorities to reduce power tariffs.
In a statement posted on the social media platform X on Thursday, the PBC highlighted that elevated power tariffs not only dissuade honest consumers but also amplify the incentive for theft.
This, according to the council, results in underutilised generation capacity, increased capacity charges, and heightened pressure on the circular debt.
Emphasising the need for a strategic shift, the council suggested that a reduction in tariffs would effectively ‘reverse’ these detrimental factors.
By tapping into the substantial unused generation capacity, providing competitively priced power to vital sectors like industry could stimulate higher employment rates and economic activity.
Additionally, this approach is expected to contribute to increased tax revenue and exports.
The PBC specifically urged authorities to promptly lower tariffs for domestic users during the winter months, aiming to incentivize a transition away from gas for heating and cooking.
This appeal follows the PBC’s October proposal to reduce electricity tariffs by up to Rs6.5 per unit through various measures, including the renegotiation of debts for CPEC IPPs.
The council underscored that Pakistan currently bears the highest electricity costs in the region, hindering industrial competitiveness, employment generation, and export potential due to underutilised capacity, transmission inefficiencies, theft, non-recovery, and cross-subsidies to residential consumers.
Concerns over escalating energy rates have been a consistent theme among businesses in Pakistan, with a recent demand from the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) urging the government to align power tariffs with regional competitiveness, targeting a range of 9–10 cents per kWh.
APTMA called upon the caretaker Federal Minister for Energy, Muhammad Ali, to expedite the reform process in light of the critical situation.