Call for strike: Power tariff hike sparks industrialists’ rage

Claim PESCO violated court’s stay order.


Our Correspondent January 21, 2012

HARIPUR:


Accusing the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) of violating the high court’s stay order, Hattar-based industrialists have threatened to go on strike against fuel adjustment charges (FAC) in electricity bills for units consumed and already paid for.


The decision was taken during a meeting on Friday chaired by Hattar Industrialists’ Association Vice President Tayyab Khan Swati.

They said the industrial sector is already struggling to survive due to the energy crisis and heavy taxes, and imposing FAC was simply unfair.

Pesco has issued electricity bills to all consumers with an accumulated amount of FAC for five months of 2011.

The revised tariff imposes an additional Rs600,000 on an industrialist who was billed Rs2 million from February to June 2011.

Meanwhile, a Pesco official confirmed that consumers have been issued electricity bills with FAC. However, when asked about the court’s order, he said Pesco was bound to revise the bills if industrialists had any stay order.

Earlier in June 2011, Abdul Samad Khan Marwat, a lawyer and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s representative for Human Rights Commission South Asia, moved the PHC in which he contended that the water and power ministry had issued a notification to increase the power tariff, which was to be adjusted in the monthly bills of June 2011.

The petitioner argued that current and previous increases in tariffs were subject to fuel adjustment charges  related to thermal generating units which were not applicable to K-P consumers, who were supplied hydel power.

Hattar Industrial Estate Haripur is the second biggest industrial zone in the country, with over 250 operational industrial units, including chemical, vegetable oil manufacturing, steel, paper, cement, marble, pharmaceutical, textile, poultry feed and beverages industries.

In addition to that, 200 industries are said to be either sick or under-construction.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2012.

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