LAHORE - The government has increased power tariff by around 67 per cent for textile industry in one year, which has also been burdened with cross-tariff subsidy despite the nearly zero line losses on textile industry feeders.

This was stated by central chairman APTMA S M Tanveer while chairing a meeting of the Association on Friday. He criticized Federal Minister for Water & Power Kh Muhammad Asif, objecting his claim of providing 100% subsidy on electricity.

He said Pakistan is on the top in terms of electricity tariff for industry in the region. The cost of electricity for industry comes around 15 cents in Pakistan, which is costlier in comparison to the regional competitors including India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The imposition of global line loss figures on textile industry has increased the electricity cost by 67%. While linked with gas shortage, the Punjab-based textile mills are paying Rs100 billion additional under the head of energy costs against other provinces, he added.

S M Tanveer said this phenomenon has already brought the country’s exports down by $1 billion in last five months. The country may lose $2.5 billion exports in total in case the prevailing energy shortage continues for Punjab-based textile industry.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman APTMA Punjab Seth Muhammad Akbar said 80% of Pakistan’s textile industry is based in Punjab. High energy cost has rendered 40% capacity closed throughout Punjab. Resultantly, he said, hundreds and thousands of textile workers have been laid off.

S M Tanveer has urged the government to take initiatives for uninterrupted energy supply at affordable as well as regionally competitive rates.

LCCI for top priority to industrial sector in gas supply: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Friday urged the government to give top priority to the industrial sector in gas supply.

In a statement Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that there was a need to reset priority list keeping in view the economic scenario.

He said that gas closure to the industrial sector would render millions of people jobless therefore there was a dire need that the government should direct the concerned authorities to reset its priorities regarding provision of gas otherwise situation would get out of hand.

 “It is not the industry only that would be suffering massively due to unavailability of gas but the government would also be an ultimate loser on many counts.”

The LCCI President sought the Prime Minister’s intervention and help for an equal and regular supply of gas to the all industrial sectors.

He said that electricity situation is already very alarming and suspension of gas supply to the industry is like adding fuel to fire. How the industry would be able to manage export orders worth millions of dollars when there is no gas, he questioned?

 What about the thousands of daily wagers who have only one source of income? And above all, he added, how the government would convince both the local and foreign investors for investment when it is unable to manage the supply of gas to existing industrial units.

He said that the decision has sent a very negative signal to the foreign buyers. “Instead of coming up with some sort of relief package, the industry is being pushed to the wall.

He said that the shortage of gas was not the only issue its improper distribution was also a cause of grave concern.

The LCCI President said that the businessmen were unable to understand that why the business community was not taken into confidence over industry-related issues and if the department was facing some supply related issues they must bring them to the notice of real stakeholders well ahead of time.