KARACHI: President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra has vehemently criticized the government for giving go ahead to K-Electric to raise its electricity tariffs for residential consumers which varies from 19 percent to 30 percent under various slabs for residential consumers and has become effective from July 14, 2015.
“This unjust hike appeared in K-Electric bills received during the month of August which came as a shock for everyone, particularly the poor and middle-class segments of society, he added.
Iftikhar Vohra urged the government to immediately withdraw this unjust hike as it will terribly affect common man’s life in the ongoing era of inflation. The upsurge in electricity tariff will also have an impact on prices of numerous household goods and exert unbearable pressure on the citizens of Karachi.
He noted that K-electric’s tariffs have been raised by 26 percent (Rs 10.20 per unit) for consumers of 201-300 units, 30 percent (Rs 16.00 per unit) for consumers of 301-700 units and 19 percent (Rs 18.00 per unit) for consumers of more than 700 units. President KCCI said that although the government notified raise in electricity tariff for residential consumers via SRO 677 (1) / 2015 but this SRO was neither available on K-Electric’s website nor on the websites of Ministry of Water and Power and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), refraining the public to analyze why this raise has been applied.
Iftikhar Vohra said that a number of people from all walks of life, while seeking KCCI’s assistance in highlighting this serious issue, highly criticized the government and NEPRA for allowing K-electric to raise its tariff for residential consumers which would badly hit the lower-income group and salaried class. It is a matter of grave concern that NEPRA usually holds public hearings prior to revising electricity tariff but this raise granted to K-Electric has been imposed without staging a single hearing.
He was of the view that this anti-public step will prove counterproductive as it may affect K-electric’s recoveries because the people won’t be able to pay off these exorbitant bills and the situation may leave no other option for them but to go for illegal means including electricity theft via Kunda connection.
Furthermore, President KCCI mentioned that K-Electric’s operating expenditures must have gone down nowadays as the international oil prices have declined sharply and are at all-time low. “Yet it is highly unfair on part of the government to give go ahead to K-Electric to raise tariff without considering the current scenario and without even thinking of the negative aftereffects on the lives of the masses. Keeping in view the overall scenario, I once again vociferously urge the government to withdraw the hike in K-Electric tariff for residential consumers”, he added.