LAHORE  -   All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) chairman Rizwan Ashraf has raised his concern over the government move of increasing tax over the usage of underground water by the textile processing mills, arguing the move will further hike the cost of industry which is already uncompetitive in the international market.

Processing industry, which is also considered as a wet industry, is presently not only paying the water bills but also bearing the additional cost of its treatment by installing treatment plants.

Moreover, the industry also urged the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) to review its decision of fixing water charges on a monthly basis for industrial sector.

Through a recent notification, Wasa fixed Rs100,000 per month and Rs50,000 per month, respectively, for installation of tube-well of one cusec and half cusec for industrial, commercial, non-residential and corporate bodies besides imposing 10 percent surcharge in case of late payment.

Under the new rates, the industrialists will have to pay huge amount on just installation of tube-wells whether they are using water or not. The industry is already in trouble due to high input cost, falling competitiveness in the international market and various other challenges, formula of fixation of water charges will bring more challenges for the industrial sector, he added.

He said there was a time when a businessman calculated return on investment keeping in view the cost of doing business but in the present scenario they cannot plan for future.