LAHORE:

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association has criticized the Ministry of Water and Power for ignoring the ground realities and ultimately destroying the textile industry as the largest employer of 10 million workers in Pakistan. 

“The Ministry of Water and Power is following the policy of recovering theft and line losses from the efficient consumers,” a spokesman said.

“The Ministry should also avoid sarcastic over the demand for zero rating regime for the textile industry, as it is a universal truth that the export-oriented industry enjoys zero rating regime everywhere in the world,” he said and continued that the Ministry should understand the export mechanism and be friendly to it in the larger national interest.  

Spokesman APTMA further stressed that the regional tariff for Industry was 7 cents or Rs 7 per unit while in Pakistan the Ministry of Water and Power has increased it from 9 cents to 14 cents or Rs 14 per unit by enforcing Tariff Rationalisation Surcharge and levies of Rs. 3.74, which is actually the Theft Recovery Surcharge from the honestly paying consumers and the industry.

 He said the textile industry had started cautioning the government that it would be unable to sell its products to the international buyers soon the government had imposed the Tariff Rationalisation Surcharge.

“The export data for the July 2015 has ratified the industry concern, as the exports have declined by 20 percent month-on-month basis, which means two million textile workers would be jobless sooner than later” he added. 

He said the industry is yet crying that the electricity tariff is higher against the regional competitors. He appealed to the Ministry for Water and Power that it should avoid giving an impression of ‘government versus industry’.

“Instead, APTMA is highlighting its problems because it believes that this government is for the industry,” he added.     

“The export-oriented textile industry cannot operate with such a Tariff Rationalisation Surcharge, as it cannot export the system inefficiencies of the power sector,” he added.

He said the APTMA has been agitating for a special electricity tariff for the export-oriented textile industry operating on the independent feeders with zero line losses. “Only a regionally competitive electricity tariff could save the textile industry,” he warned.  

He further pointed out that besides the unjustified burdening of the Industry with various surcharges in electricity bills, the member mills of APTMA were also perturbed over the enforcement of the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) and imposition of punitive taxation on the export-oriented textile industry, causing a high cost of doing business. 

“That is why the other leading associations of the textile industry including Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), All Pakistan Power-looms Association (APA) and the All Pakistan Sizing Industry Association (APSIA) had extended their unstinting support to the APTMA for a countrywide Strike on 7th August,” he said.