SCCI opposes proposed water charges with exorbitant rates

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) opposed the likely enforcement of the proposed water charges at exorbitant rates and urged the provincial government and relevant authorities to review and rationalize the proposed water charges.

SCCI president Muhammad Ishaq told a meeting of traders and industrialists held here at chamber’s house on Tuesday that the department of local government, election and rural development through an advertisement/public notice issued a schedule for the general public regarding conduct of a hearing for Municipal Services for Hiring Levy of Tariff.

He informed the meeting that an inventory of water charges with irrational ratios for various categories/sectors and businesses has been issued through ads/public notice.

Shahid Hussain, senior vice president and Ejaz Khan Afridi, vice president of the chamber, representatives of traders and industrialists were also present during the meeting.

Ishaq elaborated that according to inventory, an extreme unrealistic water charges have been proposed for five marla house, which is completely unfair and unjust whereas wedding halls, along with restaurants, public lavatory, petrol pumps, CNG stations, educational institutions were also included in the list of high tariff/water charges.

Furthermore, he explained water charges were proposed on monthly basis, according to which for shop/office and flat Rs700 per, for a hotel Rs800 per room, for wedding halls from Rs10,000/- to Rs40,000/- for hostel per room Rs440/- for restaurant from Rs5000 to Rs15,000 while if a plaza wherein 100 shops or office exist to be charged Rs70,000 per month.

Apart from that, water connection charges will also be collected, which is unacceptable, says Ishaq.

He asked the government and department concerned to review the high water charges and rationalized them.

The SCCI chief remarked that business, trade and industries have slowed down owing to current unfavorable circumstances.
On the other hand, he added, the national economy has unbalanced and is near to bankruptcy.

He asked the government to provide facilities and relief to the business community, as a result of that business and trade activities would be boosted up that can support the stabilization and improve the national economy.

Ishaq noted irrational and heavy taxes/tariffs were being imposed by various departments on business premises, trade centres, hotels/restaurants, wedding halls and industries, which mostly fall into the category of double taxation.

He urged Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and high officials of the department concerned to review the proposed high water charges and rationalized them, which could be acceptable to the business community and general public.