KARACHI: Two of Pakistan’s biggest business associations, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) have categorically said that they will strongly oppose the government’s plan to pass the entire circular debt burden on to consumers.Before general election 2018, the government is considering imposing a special surcharge on electricity bills and passing on to the consumers the impact of interest of banks to generate additional funds for paying off a chronic circular debt that is contributing to load shedding which has swelled to Rs 500 billion, said sources.Acting President FPCCI, Aamer Ata Bajwa while talking to Daily Times termed the decision by the government to pass the circular debt burden on to consumers as sheer injustice to the country people and vowed that the FPCCI will strongly oppose it on every forum.Bajwa said that the FPCCI will not let the government to deceive and oppress the people of Pakistan and the economy of the country with such decisions because it will further push back Pakistan into poverty.The FPCCI is holding biggest gathering of country’s businessmen on 6th of July in Lahore where prominent business leaders across the country will gather on the occasion of Eid-Millan Party. “We will record our protest on 6th July in Lahore against this unjust plan of the government and will decide further course of action to hold rallies and demos nationwide against this injustice”, added Bajwa.Similarly, President of the KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo said that it is incomprehensible that the government is taking loan to clear circular debt, it is totally unfair and the KCCI will not accept it any cost.Firpo was of the view that the government’s plan to amend the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) act to add on miscellaneous charges directly to the consumer without approval of the regulator is improper. “Government is destroying its own institutions, which is beyond the comprehension”. He said if any such decision is taken by the government, KCCI will definitely go up against it. According to reports, the government has decided to acquire yet another loan of Rs41 billion from commercial banks to partially retire the circular debt. Electricity consumers will pay the principal as well as interest on the Rs41-billion borrowing in their monthly bills.In this regard, the finance ministry issued the statement stating that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet agreed that the Ministry of Finance would issue sovereign guarantees for arranging a syndicated term finance facility of Rs41 billion for the power sector. Published in Daily Times, June 25th, 2017.