Lahore - The rulers are shy of getting cheaper gas and electricity from Iran but are very enthusiastic to get LNG from Qatter on very expensive prices. The electricity tariff in Pakistan is the highest in the region and this is the major cause of decline in our exports.

These views were expressed by the Pakistan Tanners Association former chairman Agha Saiddain.

“Presently our export industry is facing load shedding of both gas and electricity despite the fact we see full page advertisements in the newspapers that load shedding in industry was totally eliminated. Unfortunately this is not true and industry still faces loadshedding in peak hours 4 to 6 hours daily.”

He said that the electricity tariff in Pakistan is highest in the region. As against per unit tariff in neighboring countries Bangladesh (7.3 US Cents), China (8.5 US Cents), India (9 US Cents) the electricity tariff in Pakistan is 14 Cents per unit.

“To bring our country back to normal was really a challenge and our security forces have written a new history with their blood. One can see quality of training and an outstanding performance of this institute. The question is why cannot we create same spirit and self esteem among economic managers of our country. Why can’t we sit together and call APC for economic uplift of our country. Why can’t we develop long-term common economic agenda with the consensus of all political parties and don’t deviate from it even if the governments change.

He said that the agenda for such APC can be drafted by panel of experts of various subjects. The agenda may focus on subjects like to achieve growth rate of 7/8% per annum; to increase our exports, to reduce our debts foreign and local, to improve trade deficit, to control energy crisis, to increase our literacy rate with improvement in quality of education, to create employment to our young generation, to provide health & clean water available to every section of our population, and attract FDI in the country.

Unfortunately our economic managers are not clear in their vision and economic agenda is not focused on above said issues. Our exports are declining, our debts are on increase, energy crises prevail in the country and shortage of electricity and gas has become chronic problem.

Export industry lacks level playing field with competing countries and our market share at global level is shrinking day by day. All major export sectors like textile, leather, rice, carpets, surgical goods, sports goods know the reason behind fall in exports but rulers have turned deaf ear to their cries. Economic managers are more comfortable with borrowing rather increasing exports. They are not even aware of the fact that why exports of India, Bangladesh, and other countries are increasing despite devaluation of Euro, sanctions on Russia and crash of Stock Exchange in China.