Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has rejected the Government withdrawal of concessional tariff on gas supply to the export-oriented sectors, saying the decision will badly impact the exports and will impede any efforts to revive the industry.
Responding to the decision, PTEA’s senior leader Sohail Pasha has said that the removal of $9 per MMBtu of concessional will take effect from May 1st, 2023. He noted that textile exports have been declining for the past few months this decision will only worsen the impact on employment and the economy at large.
The textile industry is extremely under pressure with a shortage of raw materials, uncompetitive input prices in the region, already high energy tariffs, and a lack of cash flow. The recent tariff rise will potentially put the textile export industry at a halt and drive significant de-industrialization & unemployment.
In order to successfully steer Pakistan’s economy through these difficult times, the government needs to prioritise exports in order to support industries.
Arif Mahmood Qureshi, a senior PTEA leader, also addressed the issues, noting that the textile industry has already lost its competitive edge against regional rivals due to a poor socioeconomic climate, rising business costs, and an increase in the price of raw materials, all of which have made domestic goods uncompetitive on the global market.
According to him, regional rivals have seized Pakistan’s established markets. Even though Punjab is the province that generates the most money, it is being unfairly victimised by being forced to utilise expensive LNG while other enterprises in other provinces use cheap petrol for their industrial needs.
He advocated for uniform gas prices throughout the nation, citing the Weighted Average Cost of Gas (WACOG) as the only practical way to increase the competitiveness of regional exports. PTEA emphasised that the textile industry is Pakistan’s sole hope for prosperity, so the government must take fast action to prevent a catastrophe.