The proposed tariff hike by Zesco should be looked at carefully after wider consultation because of high cost of living prevailing in the country, North Western Federation for Business and Development has said.
And the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace says the Energy Regulation Board should critically look at factors that will be advanced by Zesco to necessitate the tariff adjustment.
Commenting on the proposed tariff hike by Zesco, Federation president Mukumbi Kafuta said Zesco should look at the income levels and affordability by most households in the country.
“We do appreciate the challenges that are being faced in this country with regards to power and are justifiable that they are beyond the Government and Zesco. But we need to understand that hiking tariffs may not be the ultimate solutions for us to sort out the power deficit. It can just be one of those small components in the whole bigger picture which may only result in only a little profitability towards the utility company but that will not actually resolve the bigger issues of power generation capacity, power distribution, eradication of load shedding in the country,” Mr Kafuta said.
He said much as Government was looking for short team measures to resolve the deficit, Government should look at it in a holistic manner and carry out wide consultations among all stakeholders in the country.
“For example, let Government consult departments such as the Metrological Department be consulted on how much rainfall will be experienced in the year 2016 so that they can know to what extent the Kariba dam will be filled, that will help in the planning process,” he said.
And Catholic Commission for Justice provincial coordinator john Kalusa told the daily nation that increasing tariffs would bring more suffering to the people as the current economic situation was already biting.
The utility company has proposed to revise electricity tariffs for residential, industrial and commercial users due to into effect this month pending approval by ERB.