Continuation of regionally competitive energy tariffs must for exports: APTMA chief

The country will witness an increase in the textile exports by up to $16.5 billion in June 2021 and $20 billion in June 2022 if the government assures the continuation of Regionally Competitive Energy Tariffs of $6.5 per MMBtu of Gas/RLNG and 7.5 cents per unit of electricity.

The Patron-in-Chief of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Gohar Ejaz stated this in a statement issued here on Sunday.

While appreciating the support of Imran Khan’s government for the export industry, he said that Pakistan’s textile exports foresee an increase up to $16.5 billion during FY21 in comparison to the exports in FY18, which were $13.5 billion and will continue to grow up to $20 billion in June 2022. “And this is how, the surge in textile export will help the country to take total exports up to $27 billion in exports in June 2021 and $30 billion in June 2022.”

Ejaz said that the Imran Khan government has supported the textile ministry owing to which the exports trajectory is on the higher side, but the industry wants the government to continue the support with electricity tariff at 7.5 cents per unit and gas/RLNG at 6.5 per MMBTU to achieve the milestone of $16.5 billion in textile exports in June 2021 and $20 billion in June 2022.

“The regionally Competitive Energy Tariffs policy, as has been proposed by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), played a pivotal role in the surge of current year’s exports and is critical to sustaining enhanced exports, employment and bringing in new investment.”

Textile industry has capitalized, he said, on the given incentives to help the government achieve the ultimate aim of export maximization, job creation and the realization of economic prosperity. Pakistan’s export industries (including textiles) witnessed an exceptional growth of 9pc in 9 months of FY21.

The increase in exports demonstrates the competitiveness of Pakistan’s exports; when inputs are provided at regionally competitive prices, exports were achieved despite an unfavorable international environment. “The industrial electricity tariff of regional competitors is much lower than Pakistan, making us not competitive in the increasing market competition,” Ejaz said adding that the objective to become an export powerhouse cannot be achieved until power tariffs are revised to a competitive and stable level.

Industry fears that the power sector will not be able to deliver on a sustained stable and competitive basis which will negatively impact the market sentiments. “Competition is the key principle for the development and expansion of the industrial market.”

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