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NKATI demands gas price reversal

By News Desk
February 21, 2024

KARACHI: Faisal Moiz Khan, president of the North Karachi Association of Trade & Industry (NKATI), on Tuesday slammed the caretaker government for hiking gas tariffs, saying it would cripple industries and hurt the economy.

This image taken on January 31, 2024, shows gas cylinders outside a shop in Karachis Gulshan-e-Iqbal area. — Aalam Angaria
This image taken on January 31, 2024, shows gas cylinders outside a shop in Karachi's Gulshan-e-Iqbal area. — Aalam Angaria

In a statement, Khan demanded that the government immediately reverse the recent hike in gas rates and establish gas rates through consultations with stakeholders, aiming to alleviate the burden on industrial production costs. He warned that failure to do so would result in the destruction of industries, especially SMEs, and adversely affect exports.

"The industrial sector is already grappling with substantial challenges stemming from the continuous escalation in electricity and gas tariffs. The exorbitant costs of electricity and gas have become increasingly unbearable for businesses. This has rendered exporters less competitive in global markets due to soaring production expenses, jeopardizing their market share," he said.

The NKATI president expressed concern over the government's inaction despite repeated pleas from the industrial community regarding these issues. He highlighted the growing frustration within the industrial sector and underscored the imminent risk to the survival of export-oriented industries, particularly SMEs, urging the government to acknowledge this precarious situation.

Khan called upon caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar, Federal Minister of Commerce and Industry Gohar Ejaz, and Minister of Energy Muhammad Ali to retract the decision to raise gas prices. He criticized the caretaker government for its failure to implement relief measures to alleviate the distress faced by industries, warning that continued negligence would halt exports and impede economic recovery.

Therefore, he urged policymakers to adopt prudent, industry-friendly policies to sustain productive activities, foster economic growth, and generate ample employment opportunities.