KARACHI: Muhammad Yasin Siddik, Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Sindh-Balochistan Region strongly criticised announcement of increase in electricity prices up to 70% by the government and urged to withdraw the rise in electricity tariff. He said that 10-15 % increase in tariff was understandable but 70% increase is totally unrealistic.
The Chairman APTMA Sindh-Balochistan 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 is not in a position to provide uninterrupted power and gas supply to the industry due to which industry is facing increase in cost due to less output and now such a hefty tariff increase cannot be justified.
He said that since the country is passing through an era of economic uncertainty, persistent inflation, high cost of doing business as a result of which industry is facing severe challenges. Such cost hike 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.