LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry while expressing grave concern over withdrawal of Prime Minister Relief Package for the industrial consumers, has urged the government to restore the facility in the larger interest of the economy.
“It is not good news for the business community as it would jack up the cost of doing business manifold”, said LCCI President Kashif Anwar, Senior Vice President Zafar Mahmood Chaudhry and Vice President Adnan Khalid Butt in a statement on Friday.
They said that the industry needs low cost energy as it is one of the primary raw materials of the industrial sector and its prices are already increased manifold. They said that PM Relief Package was a great favor to the industrial sector and its withdrawal will add to the miseries of the business community.
The LCCI office-bearers appealed to the government to continue PM Relief Package for the industry.
They also demanded of the LESCO authorities to take notice of the continuous over billing. They said that the LCCI has received a number of complaints about over-billing and the business community is quite disturbed.
They said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has already invited the attention of the authorities towards the inefficiencies in the power sector. They said that besides controlling line losses and electricity theft, the government would also have to chalk out a plan to convert oil based power generators to alternative fuels.
They said that Pakistan has become the only non-oil producing country in the world where bulk of the electricity is being produced through oil run power plant that has kept the energy rates volatile to the extent.
The LCCI office-bearers opined that over billing and high prices of electricity are bound to increase the incidence of electricity pilferage that already is eating up billion rupees and causing irreparable damage to the economy.
They said that how the industry would remain competitive at such a high price of electricity which is one of the basic industrial raw materials.
With unjustified huge over billing, our electricity tariff is already out of reach, leaving Pakistan totally uncompetitive and unviable in the international market place. They said that the country has already lost a number of international markets to China, Bangladesh and India due to high cost of doing business and the decision to withdraw PM Relief Package would make the Pakistani goods more uncompetitive.
Office-bearers of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry also emphasized the government to lower the number of taxes on energy prices.