APTMA asks govt to remove cross-subsidies, line losses from power tariff

By Our Correspondent
October 01, 2023

LAHORE: The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) on Saturday urged the government to remove cost of cross-subsidies, line losses, inefficiencies, power theft and stranded cost from electricity tariff, as such costs cannot be exported.

Speaking to the general body meeting of APTMA, the association’s newly-elected Chairman North Kamran Arshad said the export sector was exempted from all sorts of local taxes, duties, surcharges and levies all over the world and even the World Trade Organization (WTO) allows such waivers.

Contrary to this, exports from Pakistan are burdened with cost of cross subsidies etc. He said it was unfair as it makes Pakistan’s exports uncompetitive in the international marketplace.

He deplored the current practice and expressed the hope that the federal government would facilitate the export Sector by ensuring regionally competitive energy tariff (RCET) or the realistic tariff without the inclusion of incidence of thefts and cross subsidies.

Earlier, North-zone Secretary General Raza Baqir announced the election results of the newly-elected office bearers and members of the managing committee of the north zone.

He informed the meeting that as per the report, the same group has clinched all the seats in APTMA North elections for the year 2023-24 for the 15th consecutive year.

Kamran Arshad was elected as chairman, Asad Shafi as senior vice chairman, Ahmad Shafi as vice chairman, and Shaiq Javed as treasurer.

In addition, he said, Danish Aslam, Ismail Fareed Sheikh, Shams Elahi, Hafiz Mustanser Ahmed, Habib Anwar Sheikh, Hussain Ahmad Fazal, Ismail Aamir Fayyaz, Kh Najam Roomi and SM Raffay have been elected as members of the managing committee.

Outgoing APTMA chairman north Hamid Zaman congratulated the new office bearers and managing committee and felicitated them on their election. He expressed the hope that the newly-elected leadership would work hard to strengthen the export potential of the textile industry.

According to him, the last year has been tough and challenging due to tight monetary policy, fiscal constraints, rising energy costs, rapid depreciation of rupee, political uncertainty and global economic meltdown.

Despite these impediments, the resilient textile industry continued to struggle satisfactorily. He said the industry in Punjab was almost crippled due to withdrawal of RCET in March 2023 and energy tariff disparity within Pakistan.

“Prime users were hit the hardest having no other energy alternate available to them. To alleviate the energy crises, APTMA, adopted an aggressive strategy which included intensive lobbying through media campaign and knocking on the doors of all concerned quarters for restoration of RCET,” he said. Zaman said APTMA has requested the government to create a separate power tariff category B6 for export-oriented industry, that excludes economic inefficiencies like cross subsidies and stranded costs, whose burden cannot be passed on to the foreign buyers of Pakistani textile products.

APTMA has launched a campaign to highlight how the export industry can be charged to cross subsidies, power thefts and losses. He expressed the hope that the new leadership of the Northern Zone would take it to the culminating point in the near future.