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KARACHI: The patron-in-chief of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Gohar Ejaz asked the government for continuation of Regionally Competitive Tariffs of $6.5/mmbtu of Gas/RLNG and 7.5 cents / kWh of electricity.

“On our request Imran Khan’s government reposed its confidence in the textile industry, providing the government’s complete support,” he said.

As a result, Pakistan’s Textile Exports foresees to increase considerably i.e., $16.5 billion during FY21 in comparison to the exports in FY18 which were $13.5 billion and will continue to grow up to $20 billion in June 22, he said. Making a total of $27 billion in exports in June 21 and $30 billion in June 22, he added.

He said Regionally Competitive Energy Tariffs policy proposed by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) has played a vital role in the current year’s exports and is critical to sustaining enhanced exports, employment and bring in new investment. Textile industry has capitalized on the given incentives to help the government achieve the ultimate aim of export maximization, job creation and the realization of economic prosperity. Pakistan’s export industries (including textiles) witnessed an exceptional growth of 9 percent in the first nine months of FY21. The increase in export demonstrates the competitiveness of Pakistan’s exports –when inputs are provided at regionally competitive prices, exports were achieved despite an unfavourable international environment. “The industrial electricity tariff of our competitors is much lower than Pakistan making us uncompetitive in the increasing market competition,” he said. “Our objective to become an export ‘powerhouse’ cannot be achieved until power tariffs are revised to a competitive and stable level.”

Industry fears that the power sector will not be able to deliver on a sustained stable and competitive basis which will negatively impact market sentiments. Competition is the key principle for the development and expansion of the industrial market.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021