APTMA seeks Rs 3 cut in industrial electricity tariff

LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Tariq Saud seeks immediate issuance of notification for reduction in industrial electricity tariff in line with the landmark announcement of Rs 3 per kilowatt-hour by the prime minister.

“The export-oriented textile industry in particular had taken a sigh of relief over the announcement made by the prime minister in December last year, but no notification has been made public so far,” he said.

Saud expressed his worries over a cold shoulder response from the ministry as well as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on the exact status of the said notification.

He said that the export-oriented textile industry is in a state of fix whether to exclude Rs 3/kwh from production cost or not while quoting rates to foreign buyers. Consequently, the export orders are not being processed, he added.

He said the prevailing industrial tariff for December was about Rs 11.60/kwh, adding that an announcement of reduction of Rs 3/kwh will bring it down to below Rs 9/kwh, in line with the electricity tariff of competitors in the region.

“Already, a production capacity worth $3.7 billion has been closed down. One major reason for this is the unaffordable power tariff, resulting into an exorbitant production cost. Furthermore, liquidity crunch being faced by the industry and the exporters is also due to the pending refunds of industry, accumulated to the tune of Rs. 200 billion on account of sales tax, customs, income tax and textile policy initiatives,” he added.
The APTMA said it is yet a regretful fact that the exports are also being further burdened with incidentals of various taxes, levies and surcharges.

He said the World Economic Forum in Davos is considering the “fourth industrial revolution” while Pakistan is sliding backwards by failing to ensure a congenial environment for industrialisation. The government and the industry can jointly reverse the situation by working in tandem, he said.

The association’s chairman appealed the prime minister and finance minister to issue directions for notifying the announced tariff reduction and remove the rationalisation surcharges from tariff to save the industry, exports and employment in the larger interest of economy.

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