Power tariff hike flayed by manufacturing industry
* Exports to suffer, cost of doing business will go up
* Numerous associations appeal to political decision makers to repeal it
By Razi Syed
KARACHI: The manufacturing community has strongly criticised the decision of 12 percent hike in electricity charges as arbitrary and un-friendly towards businesses.
Especially export oriented industry of Pakistan, which has been confronting severe crisis of its history, the recent increase in the electricity power is sure to shoot up its production cost.
The representatives of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, Pakistan Tanners Association, Surgical Instrument Manufacturers Association of Pakistan, Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan Yarn Merchant Association, All Pakistan Marble Mining Processing Industry, Pakistan Carpets Manufacturers and Exporters Association said this would render the exporters un-competitive in the world market as it would be very hard to fulfil the export orders committed by them with foreign buyers within the stipulated time.
Yasin Siddik, Agha Saiddain, S M Naseem, Shakeel Ahmad, Sanaullah Khan, Aamir Riaz Bhinder, Akhtar Nazir and others said the frequent load shedding and increase in its charges, which adversely affect the cost of doing business, is already on the higher side. The power charges per unit are already at exorbitant extent compared to other countries.
The exporting industry of textile, leather, surgical, sports goods, carpet, marble and yarn products, is engaged in the promotion of country’s exports is now unable to compete the international market of their products.
The other exporters of these products like China, India, Bangladesh and Thailand have got an edge over Pakistani exporters owing to these inevitable circumstances of frequent electric load shedding, high cost of production, unavailability of raw materials, unnecessary burden of taxes imposed by the government. They are already losing valued export orders from their potential foreign customers, which is bringing adverse affect to the clientele in general and losing the precious foreign exchange in particular.
This alarming situation has repeatedly been brought into the notice of the higher authorities, but nothing has come out as yet, besides the situation is being converted from bad to worse day-by-day specially for the value added industry of Pakistan.
They also stressed the government that instead of making short term decision for meeting shortfall of electricity and energy conservation the authorities concerned should focus on permanent solution to get the country rid of continued power crisis for smooth running of industrial units for the growth of the industries and in the ultimate country’s interest.
If this critical situation is not addressed immediately by reducing the electricity charges to the reasonable extent and making sure smooth and un-interrupted supply of electricity to the export industry, the whole industry will be compelled to close down their businesses, which will certainly cause unemployment in the country.
They appealed to the President, Prime Minister, Minister for Finance and Minister for Water and Power to withdraw the decision of increase in electricity charges and two holidays in a week and make sure to provide basic necessity of electricity regularly without any interruption to continuous processing these sectors to enable it to accelerate the exports by increasing the production in the supreme interest of the industry.