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APTMA flays power tariff rise for export-oriented sector

Feb '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab chairman Adil Bashir recently urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to review the decision of add-ons and surcharges that has raised power tariff to 70 per cent retrospectively for the export-oriented industry. The decision could lead to closure of mills and render thousands jobless, he feared.

Addressing a press conference at the APTMA Punjab office in Lahore, he lamented that the government had unilaterally increased power tariff to 13 cents per kWh to cover its inefficiency and had made matters worse by imposing it from January 2019 in defiance of the prime minister’s commitment and decisions by the cabinet and the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), according to Pakistani media reports.

He said Pakistani exports cannot compete with China, Bangladesh and India where power tariffs are lower.

The textile industry had heaved a sigh of relief when the government had earlier announced a regionally competitive electricity tariff of 7.5 cents or Rs 11.70 per kWh for the export-oriented sectors. This decision led to new investment and generated 500,000 jobs, he said.

Garment exports too surged by more than 30 per cent in quantity terms during the last 12 months, he said.

However, imposition of various surcharges has pushed the export-oriented tariff upward from 7.5 cents to almost 13 cents kWh.

The power looms association is on a strike since February 1 and other textile associations would also be joining, he added.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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