Krachi - Trade bodies have advised the government to avoid making any increase in gas tariff as it would jack up cost of doing business manifold and oust the export-oriented industries from the international export market.

President Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yakoob H Karim has warned the government that any further hike in gas tariff would prove to be a killer of industry and many export-oriented units will be closed down.

Yakoob said that such anti-business acts of the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) would not only hamper the growth of already affected manufacturing sector but may result in complete closure of those factories running under capacity. “The industries are already facing a number of internal and external challenges and would lose the export market abroad”, Yakoob said.

On the other side, Tariq Saud, Chairman APTMA Sindh Balochistan Region, said that the proposed increase in gas tariff from 1st April 2015 by 64 percent per MMBTU is punitive and unjustified and requested the government for an immediate review. He said that this exorbitant increase in gas tariff would cripple the entire textile value chain, which is using gas for power generation and processing.

He said increase in gas tariff would erode viability of export-oriented industry for its inability to pass on the tariff increase as the textile industry was already hit hard by the over-valued currency phenomenon. Any such increase means a compromise on the competitiveness of the Textile Industry regionally as well as internationally because its energy cost is already the highest in the region, he added.

Increase in gas tariff will push up the proportion of energy in the cost of production by another 20% resultantly textile products of Pakistan will become uncompetitive in the international market, he added.