PESHAWAR: The trading community rejected the frequent increase in energy tariffs as detrimental to the economy, business and industrial growth and warned to protest if prices continue to rise.
The business community said the government has added to their misery by raising electricity and gas rates and imposing additional taxes. They asked the government to review electricity rates immediately.
KP is producing low-cost electricity where electricity is not available to domestic, commercial and industrial consumers despite paying heavily taxed power bills, said Ijaz Khan Afridi, Acting Chairman of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry while speaking to this scribe here on Sunday.
Afridi said that after the constant increase in electricity tariffs, the cost of industrial production has increased enormously, causing inflation and affecting the country’s poor. In addition, he added that the operation of companies and industries had been made difficult after charging heavy fees on energy bills.
He severely criticized the government for its failure to revive the economy and alleviate the misery of the business community. He said that Rs 438 billion worth of additional taxes had been imposed in the 2023-24 fiscal year, which was clear evidence of the government’s failed economic policies. He said that if the government wanted to control the national economy; it should take proactive steps to solve the problems faced by the business community.
The acting head of the SCCI said that the strike call given by the oil association was a manifestation of weak economic policies and called on the government to accept all the genuine demands of the association because the commercial and industrial activities would be affected by the suspension of the supply of petroleum products and it will also bring negative impacts on the economy.
Afridi also expressed concern about the government’s decision to charge radio fees on energy bills. He said the taxes were only imposed while consumers faced a one-hour electricity charge reduction in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “How will the national economy flourish and how will the business community prosper and boost its businesses and industries under the prevailing circumstances”?
The acting head of SCCI called on the government to implement business-friendly policies to lead the country towards sustainable economic growth and development, and to take proactive measures to solve the problems of the business community.
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