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ISLAMABAD: The meeting between the caretaker government and industrialists remained inconclusive in devising a strategy for the gas prices, however, they agreed to continue further deliberations on the matter to reach a consensus.

Sharing the details of meetings held between the federal government and industrialists, Businessmen Group Chairman Zubair Motiwala told Business Recorder that the business community conveyed the message to the government that with the revised gas tariff, the industrial sector could not be operated.

He further said that the industrialists made it clear that they were ready to pay full price, but not ready to pay cross subsidies. “We are ready to pay the price of Rs1350.58 per MMBTU which includes all charges, interests and theft but it is not possible to pay the revise tariff of Rs2,200 per MMBTU for export-oriented industries”, he added.

Gas tariff hike: Karachi industrialists announce shutdown

According to the official statement, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar on Monday directed to introduce competitive electricity rates for industries to benefit the common man and promote trade activity in the country. In a meeting with a delegation of industrialists and businessmen from Karachi, he said the government was taking every possible step to boost trade in the country.

The prime minister also ordered the finance minister and power minister to devise a strategy for the prices of gas in consultation with industrialists. He said the government was taking steps to expand taxation-net and emphasized the role of the business community in this regard.

PM Kakar mentioned that the government was working on bringing institutional reforms for the welfare of the masses and restoration of the economy.

The delegation comprised Chairman Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala, Chief Coordinator Industrial Forum Muhammad Javed Bilwani, Patron-in-chief Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industries Maqsood Ismail, former Chairman All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association Saleem Parekh, Patron-in-chief Bin Qasim Association of Trade and Industries Mian Muhammad Ahmed, and President North Karachi Association of Trade and Industries Faisal Moiz.

The meeting was held in continuation of the prime minister’s earlier meetings with businessmen and industrialists during his visit to Karachi.

Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Minister for Energy, Power and Petroleum Muhammad Ali, Governor Sindh Kamran Tessori, and senior government officials were present.

The industrialists later met the energy minister, however, it remained inconclusive and decided to continue engagement to reach some conclusion, Motiwala added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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