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KARACHI: Federal B Area Association of Trade and Industry (FABATI) president Muhammad Ali has noted with concern that inflation continues to rise, petrol prices rise twice in a month, gas and electricity prices rise every month, which has led to a sharp rise in production costs. On the other hand, he said, the profit margin of business community shrinking every month, the industrialists are suffering, it is not possible for the industrialists to increase the prices of their products every month.

Talking to the media, he said the exporters have orders in their hands by the grace of Allah, but these orders will only be fulfilled as long as we are able to sustain cost of production and remain in competition viable in the global market. He was of the view that the government should support the industrialists especially giving relief to the industry; subsidy should be given like other sectors.

He said if the government gives subsidy to the industrialists, they will be able to compete in international markets if the input cost remains unchanged.

He said the cost of production of our competing countries in world market is almost half including Bangladesh and India. Giving comparison he said in Pakistan gas cost at Rs 980 per MMBTU, while in India Rs 300 to 380 and in Bangladesh Rs 530 Per MMBTU, so how can our industrialists compete in the global market.

He said during the Covid-19 pandemic, due to the excellent policy of the prime minister, the losses were much lesser than those of India.

Lockdown has been endured but by the grace of Allah we got out of this difficult time and now fortunately Pakistan has the orders of US and Europe.

Mohammad Ali said the steps taken by the government during Covid-19 were commendable, including reduction in interest rates, reduction in electricity and gas bills, especially the payment of utility bills by the government. In addition, easy and low interest rate loans to pay employees’ salaries provided relief to industrialists. President Fabati said exporters are facing severe difficulties in paying taxes, EOBI has become a nuisance and industrialists are being harassed.

There are positive steps taken by the prime minister and the government but they need to be continued.

He said timely funds were being provided by the Sindh government while no cooperation was being provided by the federal government. He demanded that the industrialists under Pervez Musharraf regime had been promised Rs 250 million by the federal government and Rs 250 million by the provincial government for development expenditure. We have not received anything from the federation then or now, he added.

We are thankful to the Sindh government for its continuous cooperation with the industrial areas.

At present Karachi is showing the scene of Mohan-jo-Daro, roads across the city are in a state of disrepair, sewage water is standing in all areas, if Sindh government paying special attention can increase their vote in this city.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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