KARACHI: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and industrialists are urging the government to release Rs7 billion and decide on the remaining Rs21 billion pending against the incremental consumption of electricity. They also seek the immediate issuance of a notification for a reduced power tariff of 9 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to industrial consumers.
Industries in Karachi are facing severe challenges, with many SMEs shutting down and large-scale manufacturing units on the verge of collapse due to high energy tariffs, currency depreciation, borrowing costs, and a significant increase in input costs.
KCCI President Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh emphasized that funds under the incremental package have been released across Pakistan except in Karachi, calling it an injustice to the city contributing over 68% of revenue to the national exchequer. He urged the government to release the earmarked Rs7 billion and arrange the remaining Rs21 billion, totaling Rs28 billion pending against the incremental consumption of Karachi-based industries.
The delayed release of these funds raises concerns in the business community and poses a risk of industrial shutdowns, potentially impacting the already ailing economy and causing widespread unemployment.
SITE Superhighway Association of Industry (SSHAI) President Shaheen Ilyas Sarwana supported KCCI’s demands, emphasizing the fairness of the requests. He noted that Karachi industries are being deprived of relief compared to the rest of the country.
Sarwana acknowledged the potential delays in the government’s decision-making process, citing the need for IMF approval before issuing the notification for power tariff reduction.
Rehan Jawed, Chairman of the Nepra and Ogra Standing Committee at Korangi Association of Trade and Industry, highlighted the challenges in obtaining the incremental package, emphasizing the importance of addressing the situation promptly to prevent further economic distress in Karachi. The business community in Karachi is calling for swift action to safeguard industries and support the economic development of the city.