Central Chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association, M Jawed Bilwani on Friday said that government plans to increase electricity charges from August 1 2013 would badly affect the value added textile sector and render its exports uncompetitive in the international market, adding that it is an irony that the burden of losses incurred due to electricity theft has been put on genuine consumers who pay their electricity bills well on time.
He said that power companies should concentrate on stopping power theft, line losses, and increasing their efficiency, all of which was sadly lacking and it is because of these factors that the present government was forced to clear Rs480 billion in circular debt.
Bilwani said that electricity theft is no justification to increase the power tariff, and criticised the government for being helpless while power theft continues.
He proposed installing prepaid electricity meters which will paid with prepaid cards, leaving no place for non-payment of dues, arrears and theft.
He stated that this sudden increase in electricity tariff along with several other adverse factors would render the value added textile sector uncompetitive in the international market against vigorous competitors such India, China, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka and other competing countries whose cost of doing business is much lower owing to several subsidies.
He accused the government of failing to provide regular power to the industrial sector, specially the value added textile sector.
He said it was imperative that uninterrupted supply of electricity is guaranteed to the export sector with exemption from load shedding. Most important of all, tariff for electricity should be fixed on yearly basis for the export oriented manufacturing sector.
Priority should also be given to the value added textile export sector, which has efficient working conditions to avoid energy losses, as such frequent increase all year round in the electricity tariff jeopardises their entire planning leading to losses, said Bilwani.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2013.
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