KARACHI: Muhammad Yasin Siddik, Chairman, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association APTMA, Sindh Baluchistan Region, strongly criticized announcement of increase in electricity prices upto 70% by the government and urged to withdraw the rise in electricity tariff.
He said that it is understandable if the tariff is raised by about 10% to 15% but not such a drastic increase of 70%. Chairman APTMA Sindh-Baluchistan Region said that the recent hike in electricity tariff would make textile export costlier and render Pakistani textile exports uncompetitive in the international market.
Subsequently, India, China and Bangladesh would capture markets presently dominated by Pakistani exporters. He suggested the government that before making any dramatic changes in the electricity prices, the stakeholders of the industry should have been taken into confidence and engaged to work out the electricity tariff.
He stated that the government was not in a position to provide uninterrupted power and gas supply to the industry due to which industry is facing increase in cost as a result of less than capacity output and now such a hefty tariff increase cannot be justified.
He said that since the country was passing through an era of economic uncertainty persistent inflation, high cost of doing business as a result of which industry was facing severe challenges such as war on terror and insecurity etc. such cost increases could lead to decrease in export earnings and escalating trade deficit. He feared that if the precautionary measures are not taken carefully the survival of the industry would become elusive.