Mounting gas and power charges is among of the many reasons troubling the Pakistan textile industry. Yet again, rumours are there that the Government may increase gas tariff by whopping 46 percent, leaving the textile mill owners and the related body — All Pakistan Textiles Mills Association (APTMA) worried.
The textile manufacturers have urged the Government to reduce the power and gas charges to allow the smooth functioning of the units.
The millers have also requested for the release of the pending exporters’ refunds.
As per the reports, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) — a Government body that investigates crimes related to taxation and money-laundering — has withheld around Rs. 100 billion of exporters as tax refunds, which is making it difficult for the manufacturers to operate due to capital crunch.
The manufacturers are hopeful that the new Government would take actions in the interest of the industry. The Finance Ministry has also promised to support the export sector and even refuted any hike in the gas tariff any time soon.
However, the analysts feel Rs. 30 billion losses the gas sector subsidies were causing to the national exchequer will force the Government to increase prices soon.
Additionally, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has reportedly indicated that electricity prices may be increased by 33 percent to Rs. 15/unit.
It remains to be seen if the fate of the industry changes in the time to come with the new Government in power.