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KARACHI: The President of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), Faraz-ur-Rehman, has voiced deep apprehensions regarding the difficulties confronting the industrial sector, citing delays in decision-making by higher authorities that have led to the misapplication of subsidies and subsequent price hikes.

Rehman highlighted that the industry is grappling with significant hurdles due to an extensive delay in the NEPRA Appellate Tribunal's decision regarding K-Electric's petition challenging the concession package granted to industrial consumers.

He pointed out that despite the government's budget allocation of 45 billion rupees for subsidies, these subsidies were extended to industries across the country over three years, excluding Karachi's industries.

This, Rehman stated, was an inequitable treatment towards Pakistan's business hub Karachi.

Faraz-ur-Rehman fervently called for the immediate disbursement of subsidies to alleviate production costs. Furthermore, he urged the Federal Minister of Energy Muhammad Ali and the NEPRA Chairman to provide subsidies for excess power consumption during the winter season, thus reducing capacity charges and averting increases in Circular Debt and electricity prices.

He underlined that the tribunal's delay had brought numerous industrial units to the brink of insolvency. He pressed the government to swiftly reinstate and release industrial subsidies, a move that would not only aid the industry but also mitigate the rising production costs affecting related sectors.

Reaching out to Energy Minister Muhammad Ali and NEPRA Chairman, Rehman implored them to take prompt action through a tribunal decision that takes into account the country's economic conditions.

In the prevailing circumstances, Faraz-ur-Rehman emphasized that the industry should not be burdened with additional challenges when investments are scarce.

He called upon the Caretaker Prime Minister, Federal Minister of Energy, NEPRA Chairman, and relevant authorities to promptly address the issues faced by the industrial sector and expedite the release of subsidies.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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