SMEs unable to fully benefit from PM relief package: PRGMEA

By: News Desk      Published: 01:02 AM, 24 Nov, 2020
SMEs unable to fully benefit from PM relief package: PRGMEA

The Prime Minister Energy Relief Package will be enjoyed only by the larger units which have been working in multi-shifts whereas the SME sector is already working in a single shift and they are not in a position to avail the relief announced recently in peak hours’ electricity rates.

These views were expressed by the participants of a meeting of the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) on Monday.

The meeting appreciated the PM Imran Khan for providing them with relief in power tariff, saying the decision would ease the cost of doing business enabling the industry more competitive in the region.

PRGMEA Central Chairman Sohail A Sheikh and Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar, addressing the meeting, urged the premier to remove the restriction of additional utilisation of electricity before finalising the notification of the Energy Relief Package to make the package more comprehensive and viable for the SMEs, which constitutes over 90 per cent of the industry.

The PRGMEA central chairman asked the departments concerned to issue notification of the package regarding power tariff for the large, small and medium enterprises after amendments.

“PRGMEA, on behalf of the whole textile value-added sector across Pakistan, urges the Prime Minister to take notice of the situation and issue immediate orders to all concerned departments to implement the package in letter and spirit after some necessary amendments to make it more beneficial and fruitful,” he pleaded.

Sohail said the role of value-added textile sector is vital in the country’s exports and the government should accord top priority to this sector taking necessary steps and measures to enhance its export efficiency.

He said that electricity rates are high in Pakistan and it is for the first time that power rates are being reduced. “The decision is good but it would not have a major effect, as the government has announced discounts on additional electricity use. “The industry gets the advantage of this incentive of consuming additional power when it would expand which takes time especially for the SMEs in the present post-economic slowdown,” he said. So, the real benefit is to reduce the tariff for existing use of electricity.