PTEA demands halt in power tariff hikes for six months

May 16, 2012 - Pakistan

Textile exporters of Pakistan have called upon the Government to keep the electricity charges unaltered for the next six months and to abolish fuel adjustment surcharge.

Raising the demand during a meeting, Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) Chairman Rana Arif Tauseef said frequent hikes in electricity charges and surcharges are badly hitting all sectors of the economy, thus disturbing the economic cycle and elevating inflation in the country.

Speaking in presence of Federal Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar, Mr. Rana urged the Government to freeze the electricity charges at current rates for at least six months, as it is the minimum time required to complete an export transaction.

While the industrial sector is already grappling against a number of internal as well as external challenges, a continuous rise in power tariffs is adding to the financial woes of the industry, Mr. Rana said.

He added that the high costs of doing business in the country have forced several industrial units to shift their operations to other countries.

He suggested that the burden of high power tariff, which is taking a toll on businesses and industry, can be eased through more efficient use of water resources, as water is the most viable and cost-effective means for generating electricity.

Further, Mr. Rana also called for revamping the fuel adjustment formula, claiming that it is badly hitting the trade and industry.

Due to high cost of doing business, Pakistani exporters are already losing international buyers, and any hike in power tariff under the monthly fuel adjustment system would further affect the competitiveness of Pakistani goods, he said.

Urging for a reduction in the EQ surcharge to two percent, like in other provinces, he also sought that MDI charges should be charged on actual basis and not for load-shedding hours.

Mr. Rana alleged that the Government has not acted seriously to alleviate power crisis, which has resulted in a slowdown of economic activities throughout Pakistan.

Electricity outages have negatively impacted the production process and also exports of Punjab’s value added industries.