LAHORE - The high energy cost as well as power loadshedding have led to the closure of at least 50 steel melting units alone in Lahore and Gujranwala, resulting into the total loss of Rs 975.5 million per month to the government.

Chairman of the Steel Melters Association Mian Saeed claimed that 50 units are closed in Lahore and Gujranwala which means 50 million electricity units are not being consumed due to closure of these furnaces. The government has been charging Rs 4 per unit sales tax from furnaces, Rs 0.88 income tax per unit and per unit cost of electricity to them other than these taxes is Rs 14.63.

Thus, on account of sales tax Rs 200 loss incurred, Rs 40 million on account of income tax and Rs 731.5 million on account of not selling 50 million units of electricity, Mian Saeed added.

Talking the issues of the steel melting industry due to unfriendly government polices with the member of Lahore Economic Journalist Association, Mian Saeed said that the industry has been paying 4 per cent withholding tax of the scarp sellers. He pointed out that the scarp sellers and dealers are not registered with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Chairman APTMA Punjab S M Tanveer has also said that the Punjab-based textile industry on independent feeders is facing six to eight hours of electricity load shedding, resulting into one-shift closure. He apprehended that if industry is not provided with uninterrupted electricity supply, mills would be constraint to opt complete closure of their operations.

According to him, the Punjab based industry is responsible for more than 86% of PEPCO’s total industrial sector revenue being penalized both on account of the inordinately high and in-competitive tariff reaching upto Rs. 18/- per unit. coupled with 6 to 8 hours daily load shedding. The industry is fully compliant in paying electricity bills and is also receiving electricity supply on zero line losses. 

Furthermore, Chairman APTMA Punjab said that the low availability of gas supply to the Punjab based Textile Industry aggravates the situation, while such industry in other provinces is being provided gas supply 24/7 resulting in extremely low energy cost for them. A large number of units without backup of gas supply and fully dependent on PEPCO were the worst hit and needed support from the Ministry of Water & Power for full provision of electricity supply, he emphasized.