Constant increase in energy rates to make Pak products uncompetitive: APBF
APBF President Syed Maaz Mahmood.–File photo
The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has rejected the frequent increases in energy tariffs on behest of the International Monetary Fund, expressing fear the move will hurt the small and medium sized industry, besides disrupting domestic market equilibrium.
APBF President Syed Maaz Mahmood opposed the government plan of increasing base electricity tariff across the country by a cumulative Rs 5.36 per unit in three phases over the next two years. He said the constant increases in energy rates on the behest of the IMF would make the Pakistani products uncompetitive in the international market.
APBF president lamented that the cost of production had flown upward, reaching the highest level mainly due to massive cut in rupee value and repeated hike in power cost. He warned the government of missing its annual growth target in major sectors, stressing the need for dropping energy prices for the local industry to stimulate industrial growth further.
He stated the constant increase in energy rates would not only make Pakistan small industry uncompetitive in the international market, but would also dent the prime minister’s vision of lowering the cost of industrial production. There is very slow economic activity in the country during the last two years due to Covid situation and now when the activity has just begun, an unprecedented increase in power tariff has been announced to the disappointment of the manufacturing sector, said APBF leader. Calling for withdrawal of the whooping increase, he suggested to the government to reconsider the decision to control the fast galloping inflation and rapidly going up cost of doing business.
He called for taking steps strengthening the private sector and giving a boost to economic and commercial activities, stressing the need for reviewing the decisions that are hitting trade and industry and earning a bad name for the government.