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Traders, Industrialists slam govt for increasing fuel, power tariffs

They urge the government to continue policies on special power and gas prices in order to sustain the industry.

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Traders and industrialists in Faisalabad lashed out at the government for increasing gas and electricity tariffs, saying that it suppresses exports and creates an enabling environment for importers.

In a joint news conference on Tuesday, they urged the government to continue policies on special power and gas prices to sustain the industry.

They said the government should provide equal facilities to the textile sector to increase exports.

Read more: Power tariff for April up by Rs3.99/unit

Atif Munir Sheikh, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President, said the industry was performing much better during the previous government of Imran Khan due to fixed rates for gas and power.

He also praised the “smart lockdown” strategy used by the former prime minister to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, which contained poverty and gave Pakistan’s industry an edge over regional countries like India, China, and Vietnam, which remained shut amid lockdowns.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (North Zone) Mian Kashif Zia and Yarn Association Chairman Jawad Asghar lamented that raw material prices had almost doubled on a rising dollar.

They added that the government should announce a relief package for the textile industry by taking all stakeholders on board.

The textile industry sought restoration of zero-rating status, duty-free import of cotton, and extension of the Long Term Financing Facility (LTFF) for the next financial year of 2022-23 for the industry’s sustainable growth.

According to The News, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APMTA) called for a cut in corporate tax from 29 per cent to 25 per cent and withdrawal of 1.5 per cent turnover tax and proposed a zero present duty structure on dyes and chemicals.

Read more: PDM govt succumbs to IMF as it hikes petrol rate

They also urged the government to immediately issue a notification of duty drawback on local taxes and levies.

The country’s exports jumped from $18 billion to $32 billion during the last three and a half years, the traders and industrialists said.

They said if the current government increased electricity and gas prices, textile exports, a large chunk of the overall exports, would start to decline and lead to unemployment in the country.