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LAHORE: Mian Ahmed Hassan, Chairman of the Pakistan Steel Melters Association (PSMA) showed his grave concern over the recent extraordinary increase of Rs. 9.90 per unit in electricity rate and the inclusion of various taxes and fuel adjustment charges in the electricity bills.

In a press statement issued here, he pointed out that more than 200 Steel Melters registered with PSMA constitute one of the largest electricity consumer industry in Pakistan that uses the electricity as a raw material, with an average utilization per furnace is from 2 million to 5 million units of electricity.

He said that it is very difficult for the steel melting industry to survive under these exorbitant electricity charges and many furnaces foresee winding up and forced sale of their businesses in near future, just to pay the monthly electricity bills.

Mian Ahmed Hassan also said that a hike in electricity prices accompanied by the highest rate of inflation has caused a serious threat for this industry as a number of furnaces have already been closed down causing unemployment to thousands of labour and unrest amongst the Steel Melters especially of Lahore and Gujranwala region. He highlighted that closed furnaces are also still being charged 50% MDI which is unjustified.

Chairman PSMA also pointed out that steel melting industry is also facing huge losses because of levy of fuel adjustment charges in the electricity bill for the month of May 2022. QTA @ Rs. 5.02 is being charged. The fuel adjustment charges for the month of July 2022 are yet to be determined. It was pointed out that once the products are sold, it is impossible to adjust the levied fuel adjustment charges. The extra amount has to be paid by the industry itself which is a total loss.

Chairman PSMA recommended that in order to reach an amicable solution, the said adjustment charges should be billed in a timely manner so that it may be adjusted in the product price. Alternately, fuel adjustment surcharge may be merged in the tariff, so that one rate of electricity is considered.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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