Software houses want power supply at industrial rates
KARACHI- Due to row over the power tariff between the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) and the software houses, the latter have started planning to install generators at their offices.
Nadeem Aslam Malik, CEO, Iways, a software house, said that despite the declaration of information technology as an industry by the government in 1997, the KESC is still charging from the IT companies and the software houses at commercial rates.
Since the government has declared the IT sector an industry, the KESC should charge at industrial rates instead of commercial rates. He said industrial power rates are about 50 percent cheaper than the commercial rates.
“If KESC continued to charge at commercial rates, the software houses and information technology companies would find themselves in a difficult situation to run their businesses smoothly,” said Nadeem, who is a member of the Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA).
Keeping this aspect in mind, the software companies have started planning to use their own power by installing generators instead of relying heavily on KESC. Even some of the software houses have already installed generators in their offices in order to become economically viable. He said that despite repeated requests made to the Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ataur Rehman regarding the KESC’s charging at commercial rate from the software houses, nothing has happened and the KESC continued to charge commercially.
Due to global recession, the software companies, which are already facing crisis and have retrenched their staff quite considerably, the IT companies and the software houses can not afford to pay KESC at commercial rates. The companies are also not getting export orders in view of the post September events, he said.
Nadeem said that software companies, in order to grab export orders from aboard, have cut down their rates by at least 35 percent. The local software companies are negotiating no new export orders, he said and added that they are busy to honour the previous commitment of their export orders.
However, the KESC’s version in this regard is that industrial tariff is applicable on consumption of over 70 kV load.
Since the software companies are not consuming the said amount of load, the corporation can not charge from them at industrial rates.
Source: Business Recorder