Sheikh Afzal Hussain, Chairman, Pakistan Tanners Association today strongly condemned the proposed increase of prices of Electricity by 38% under quarterly adjustment formula framed by NEPRA & further increased Fuel in Pakistan, which is termed to be another last hammer on export of Leather Sector of Pakistan, which is already in declining trend seriously and facing numerous issues for the promotion of exports of Leather Sector.
The Chairman, PTA also shared with the media that under new tariff regime, certain terms & conditions have been revised the implementation of time of use (ToU) billing where eligible consumers charged based on their consumption during peak and off-peak hours. Moreover bank charges and meter rent will no longer be charged to customers. Whereas General Services tariff category has been introduced and criteria for lifeline consumers and industrial consumers having tariff category B1 & B2 has also been revised to the exorbitant extent. In addition, Rs.3 per Unit relief provided to Industries under Industrial support Package has now been merged into consumer –end tariff and this adjustment will be shown separately in electricity bills.
It is also shared by the Chairman, PTA that the GoP had given earlier an incentive to export oriented industries in January’2019 by giving a discounted rate of US cents 7.5 per KWH to boost the exports from the country and all other surcharges like fixed charges NJS, FPA, FC, QTA and ADMC were withdrawn to reduce the energy cost burden on zero rated industries. But unfortunately the GoP has withdrawn this subsidy from January’2020 on electricity bills and has made the electricity cost per KWH almost to Double, besides GoP has hit the nail in our heads to deposit the already given subsidy in year 2019 on electricity as 1st Installment of arrears in January’2020 electricity Bills. With the hard facts our member exporters are realy perturbed to cope with the hike prices of electricity as now introduced/increased by the Government WHEREAS the export orders were already booked by them with the foreign buyers/customers at the concessional tariff offered in 2019, resultantly they are losing the precious export orders causing severe loss of the country with the foreign exchange which is desperately required by the country.
The Chairman, PTA Sheikh Afzal Hussain also shared the shared the Industry statistics made during period of July-June (2018-19) for leather sector exports was US$ 843 Million as compared to the corresponding period was US$ 948 Million, which revealed sharp decline in the export of leather sector.
Sheikh Afzal Hussain, Chairman, PTA also articulated very strongly that such irrational decisions taken by the Government of Pakistan would ultimately be a last nail on coffin of Leather Sector of Pakistan and rest of core export commodities of the country and it would become completely impossible for the Leather Industry for further survival with the present business environment prevailing within the country and last unfortunate version to be the closure of the vital Industry of the country completely.
The Chairman, PTA strongly APPEALED to the Honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan and Advisor to PM on commerce & textile, Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood to look into the very very significant plight of the Industry for the withdrawal of such irrational/unjustified policies/tariffs of utilities for the Leather Sector of Pakistan and rest of export oriented industries of the country to provide level playing field OTHERWISE there would be no doubt about that the export of leather sector of Pakistan would further be decreased drastically, which is already at bottom of line comparatively to previous years.
The Chairman, PTA Sheikh Afzal Hussain informed with deep sorrow that in view of above peculiar nature of circumstances created within the country with the hike prices of utilities bills, the cost of production has been increased and UNABLE our member exporters to compete in international market in comparison with neighbor competitors specially Bangladesh, India and China RESULTANTLY there is No option left with this significant industry to close their export business/export activities in Pakistan IN COMPULSION to make consider FINAL resort to hand over the Keys of their factories to the Government of Pakistan ON PROTEST.