Revenues worth billions lost in power riots

Published: April 11, 2012

International buyers cancel contracts, local factory owners look for exit.

FAISALABAD: Week-long protests and riots against power outages have caused losses in billions of rupees due to delay in deliveries of international orders.

Uncertainty in the textile city hub of the country was against to the massive energy crisis and the recent hikes in electricity and gas prices. Demand stood at 1,250 megawatt while supply stood at 425 megawatt on March 28.

Rana Arif Tauseef Chief Executive Officer of Rana Textile Mills Faisalabad told The Express Tribune that his mill alone suffered millions of rupees losses in the last week of March.

Overall exporters were suffering $250 million monthly losses due to the crippling energy crisis, Tauseef said.

Irtaza Khan said authorities did not take any concrete measures to protect the businesses. He said the situation in Faisalabad will cause massive financial losses and swell the already massive trade deficit.

Many industries have already shifted to other countries specifically Bangladesh with many more planning to follow, Khan added.

Businessman Salamat Ali is one of the many who shifted to Bangladesh. “I have shifted two of my textile factories to Bangladesh as the energy crisis made it impossible to generate returns in Faisalabad,” Ali added.

Energy outages and high tariffs have led to international buyers cancelling contracts with local companies and huge labour layoffs, he added.

Businessmen said that on one side the government is considering to increase targets of economic growth and on the other side it is taking decisions like price hikes of utility tariffs. It is a recipe for disaster, they added.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2012.

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