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PESHAWAR: Factory owners here on Sunday warned to shut down industrial units and stage a sit-in on main Grand Trunk road, if the government didn’t withdraw collection of Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA) in electricity bills forthwith.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Hattar district Haripur, industrialists and office-bearers of Hattar Industrialists Association (HIA) said they have been compelled to shut down their units due to ‘non-authorized, non-transparent, illogical and poor strategy’ of Hattar Industrial Association, Nepra, WAPDA and Pesco.

They said that a large number of people were attached directly and indirectly to medium and large scale industries and it was prime source of employment for many families.

They informed more than 490 factories pay billions of rupees in taxes to the government annually, despite the fact that PESCO is illegally collecting heavy bills and excess taxes.

However, they said the electricity bills with heavy and additional taxes weren’t acceptable to them.

The industrialists said the government should immediately withdraw additional and illegal taxes forthwith and asked it to facilitate and provide incentives instead of adding to their problems such anti-industry policies.

They went on to say that it is impossible to run factories under the prevailing circumstances. They asked the federal and provincial governments to immediately abolish double and unauthorized taxes, including FPA in power bills.

They said fuel adjustment tax is being increased rapidly by WAPDA, warning that if the current situation continues, the factory owners would be forced to close units and it result in unemployment of more than 60,000 workers attached with multiple industries in Hattar Industrial Estate.

Earlier, the Haripur Hazara Hattar Industrial Association protested against WAPDA, PESCO and Nepra and demanded the government to immediately end fuel adjustment and other cruel taxes in electricity bills.

The demonstrators said that more than 490 factories and factories in Hattar pay taxes worth billions of rupees annually, providing employment to more than 60,000 workers, but the government does not see all this.

They said that the method of collection of electricity bills by WAPDA is also wrong. They demanded the government and officials to collect the bill for the month in which the electricity is actually consumed.

NEPRA, WAPDA and PESCO should abolish PV and other illegal taxes, and apply MDI only to used units, the protesters demanded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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