APTMA presses PM Shehbaz to resume cheaper power, gas tariffs scheme
Says 75pc industrial units in Punjab will be forced to shut down if demand isn’t met
ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has again repeated its demand of resuming gas and electricity supply at concessional rates and warned the failure to do so would cause unemployment, loss of export revenue and further deterioration in the trade balance.
In a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, APTMA Pattern-in-Chief Gohar Ijaz urged him to restore the Regionally Competitive Energy Tariffs (RCET) for the export industry.
He noted that the government, in spite of the fiscal challenges, continued with the RCET facility for most of the year; however, the withdrawal at a time when the country was in need of foreign exchange could only be described perplexing.
According to Ijaz, the RCET does not require any subsidy and is more or less equal to the cost of service. The subsidy arises as a consequence of the Nepra tariff regime that cross-subsidizes other sectors and underperforming DISCOs. These should in all fairness be funded directly by the government as part of their socio-political obligation.
The letter reads that the absence of a viable energy tariff could result in the closure of 75 per cent of the industrial establishments in Punjab within the next three months.
It added that the impact of non-continuation of the RCET would not be limited to the large-scale manufacturing (LSM) sector, but was also going to affect small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and cottage industries.