LAHORE - The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Punjab has rejected a government plan of adjusting the prime ministerial announcement of Rs 3 per unit reduction in the industrial tariff to the monthly fuel price adjustment.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Chairman Aamir Fayyaz said government policymakers were considering it as a subsidy and adding it to the fuel price adjustment, which was not “less than a joke”.

He said, “The textile industry is already getting Rs. 2.70 per kilowatt hour under the head of fuel price adjustment and the addition of Rs. 3 per kilowatt hour reduction to it means that the government will be offering 30 paisas per kilowatt hour reduction in the tariff than Rs. 3 per kilowatt hour.”

He said his association was getting an impression that the prime minister had no idea about this plan of a few bureaucrats.

“The prime minister should take stock of the situation and direct the concerned authorities to abstain from any such plan,” he stressed.

Referring to the 11.2-percent decline in textile exports this December against the corresponding period, the nine-percent decline in textile and 14 percent in non-textile products during the last six months, he apprehended a reduction of $3.5 billion exports by the end of the current fiscal.

He then posed a question: “How will the government repay loans from the IMF [International Monetary Fund] while the exports keep declining at a similar pace? Whether they will get more loans for this purpose remains uncertain,” he added.

He also rued the government’s lack of response to repeated calls by his association to take a remedial action.

He then urged the government to use the liquefied natural gas terminal on full capacity to import the gas fuel since his association was ready to procure 50 percent of the imported fuel. “The gas fuel terminal has a capacity of 600 MMcfd [million cubic feet per day], but the government has cut the import to only 200 MMcfd,” he added.

He went on, “The government should also provide it [the gas fuel] at $6 per MMbtu [one million British thermal units] but not $11 per MMbtu. The textile industry has extensively invested on captive power plants to convert gas into electricity that should not be wasted by charging extra price of the gas fuel.”