LAHORE -  The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Aamir Fayyaz has said that rationalization of energy tariff is must to boost exports and encourage further investment in the textile industry.

He was addressing a press conference at the APTMA Punjab office here on Saturday. APTMA Chairman Punjab Syed Ali Ahsan, besides the other office- bearers, also joined him on the occasion.

While appreciating the federal government for Rs180 billion export package, the APTMA chairman pointed out that energy cost was still hampering the textile industry, a mainstay of Pakistan economy in terms of exports, as it was unable to pass on the high energy costs to its international buyers in a highly competitive environment.

He said the energy, both electricity and gas, was a prime factor in cost of doing business for the textile industry.

On the electricity side, he added, the textile industry tariff was loaded with various types of surcharges, system inefficiencies and recovery losses.

“The government is charging exorbitant tariff from the textile industry, which is not possible to be passed on to the international buyers,” he asserted.

He said as far as the gas supply was concerned, the government was providing it from domestic and imported sources with two different tariffs.

“The domestic supply is available at Rs600 per MMBTU against the imported supply at Rs950 per MMBTU,” he added.

He said the textile mills, heavily dependent on imported gas supply, were deprived of a level playing field within the country. “The government should introduce weighted average price of gas both for domestic and imported supplies to encourage new investment in the textile industry,” he emphasised.

The APTMA chairman has demanded availability of electricity at Rs7 per unit and gas at Rs600 per MMBTU inclusive of GIDC to the textile industry across the country.

He said the textile industry could only be benefited from the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor in case the government ensured a level playing field to compete domestically as well as regionally.