FAISALABAD: The textile exporters have rejected the increase in import duty on coal from 1% to 5% and have urged for its immediate withdrawal as this would nullify the government’s positive initiative to use coal as an alternative fuel.
Representatives of textile exporters’ body, PTEA Chairman Sohail Pasha and Vice Chairman Rizwan Riaz Saigol termed the move unrealistic and expressed grave concern over it. “This kind of action would jeopardise government’s initiative in fetching investment in alternative energy projects,” they said.
Textile industry in Punjab is in the grip of severe energy crisis, and the growing shortage has affected almost one-third of the country’s textile manufacturing capacity. It is also adversely hitting its reputation as a credible supply source.
“The industry, on government directions, invested huge sums in order to switch their plants from gas to coal. But this sudden increase in import duty on coal in budget 2015-16 has rendered us unviable in the international market,” said Pasha.
He said due to the energy crisis the industrial production is not in accordance with the manufacturing capacity, and due to this underutilisation, the country is not fetching the full potential of foreign exchange earnings.
PTEA urged the government to immediately withdraw import duty on coal and allow them to import their major alternative fuel at zero percent duty.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2015.