FAISALABAD. Proposal to freeze electricity and gas prices for next three years is a positive and in time step which will not only drag the economy from the existing quagmire but also play its due role in enhancing national exports, said Rana Sikandar Azam Khan, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He told that the former Finance Minister Asad Umer had announced from the platform of FCCI that the five major export sectors will get electricity at 7.5 cent/unit (inclusive of all taxes) and gas at $ 6.5/mmbtu. He appreciated this decision and said that it played a major role in gearing up the industrial production and exports but suddenly this system was wrapped up by enhancing electricity tariff from 7.5 to 13.0 cents/unit which had increased our production cost and made our exportable surplus uncompetitive in the international markets. He further told that it was a very discouraging factor that the power division had announced to recover the arrears @ 13 cent/unit with retrospective effect in spite of the fact that the foreign proceeds were received and finally settled.
He said that the business community had no option but to give strike call against this highly unjustified act. He told that business community is peace loving segment of our society and no one intends to close down its running business but in the prevailing situation it was impossible to continue their businesses.
He appreciated the efforts of Mr. Faiz Ullah Kamoka, Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs and told that Government was trying its optimum best to facilitate the export sector.
Quoting news in the press that the Government has given an assurance to the business community that the prices of electricity and gas would be frozen for next three years so that exporters could get maximum orders from their foreign buyers without any fear of increase in the cost of production. He further told that it would also create new job opportunities in addition to enhancing our national exports.
Rana Sikandar Azam requested Prime Minister of Pakistan to issue a proper notification to freeze the gas and electricity rates so that a favorable climate could be created for the exporters to fully concentrate on their exports.