Islamabad: The government has approved other major demands related to the electricity prices made by the export sector including the textile industry.
Under the agreement, Zero-rated industry including textile will be provided electricity by June 30 this year at a cost of Rs 7.50 paise per unit and gas at $ 6.5 per unit (Million British thermal unit or MMBTU).
In this regard, Shahid Sattar, chief executive officer of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), told that the government would immediately withdraw the electricity bills issued from January 2019, which included several surcharges, quarterly adjustments and fuel prices.
The cumulative impact of these decisions has been estimated at around Rs 50 billion.
Shahid Sattar said the government has also acknowledged the demand for permission to import liquid natural gas (LNG) directly through the private sector.
LNG will be available for $ 5.5 per MMBTU through the private sector, compared to $ 8-10 per MMBTU in the public sector, he said.
After meeting the delegation of government, Aptma and Zero-rated industries, the energy department said that "all the unusual issues regarding energy prices have been resolved in the meeting".
The participating government team was comprised of Minister for Energy and Petroleum Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Economic Affairs Hamad Azhar, Prime Minister's Assistant Special Minister for Petroleum Nadeem Babar, Advisor Industry and Commerce Abdul Razzaq Daud and Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar.
According to the statement, the meeting discussed all issues related to textile and zero-rated industries and the Government team expressed their commitment to providing all possible support to these industries for the better economic growth of the country.
Further, it was decided that the government would provide Rs 20 billion additional subsidies for energy and petroleum in the next year's budget.
Shahid Sattar said that the exports department had told the government that if they were allowed to import LNG from their sources, they would not need additional subsidy next year.
It may be recalled that export industries had been threatening to shut down factories and businesses for the last 2 months due to the issuance of high-cost bills from energy companies that were also applied from January 2019.
Earlier, the Standing Committee on Finance and Finance of the National Assembly had ordered to suspend the hike in electricity prices for the export industries and raised the matter before the Prime Minister.