Govt urged to ensure uninterrupted supply of cheap electricity, gas to industries

PESHAWAR:Industrialists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have demanded of the government to ensure low-cost and uninterrupted electricity and gas supply to manufacturing units for the promotion of industrialisation.

Besides, the KP manufacturers have called for prompt steps to resolve the Letter of Credits (LCs) issue which is halting industrialisation.

These issues were taken up during Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ghulam Ali's visit to the Industrial Estate, Hayatabad, Peshawar paid on the invitation of Industrialists Association Peshawar (IAP) President Malik Imran Ishaq, said in a press release issued here on Friday.

Mayor Peshawar Zubair Ali was also accompanying the KP governor.

Malik Imran, in his opening remarks of the occasion, raised various issues of industrialists mostly related to electricity, gas, collection of fixed billing charges, and quarter tariff adjustment in power bills, etc.

KP is producing natural gas in surplus quantity and new discoveries of gas were also reported in the province, the IAP chief said.

He said under constitutional article 158-A, the first right on KP's natural gas is of the people of KP, however, a cheap and uninterrupted electricity supply is not being provided to industrial, commercial, and domestic consumers in the province.

Similarly, he raised concern over fixed billing charges and quarter tariff adjustments in power bills, saying that KP is also self-sufficient in electricity production but electricity was unavailable to industrial and commercial consumers in the province.

The IAP president asked to immediately halt fixed billing charges and collection quarter tariff adjustments besides ensuring the provision of cheap and uninterrupted power supply to industries.

Ghazanfar Bilour, while speaking on the occasion, took up the issue of LCs before Governor KP, saying that the process of industrialisation is near stagnation owing to the non-opening of LCs. Besides, he added an unprecedented increase was also seen in the cost of industrial production.

A large number of goods trucks have been stuck up at Karachi port owing to the non-opening of LCs, and heavy demurrage charges were being collected on a daily basis, because of which industrialists have been faced with financial as well as production losses, Bilour informed.

Former FPCCI president raised the question: "How would the industries flourish when the process of export is being halted?" He said industrialists have been forced to shut their units owing to the prevailing circumstances.

Malik Imran Ishaq urged the KP Governor to lead the industrialist community as a representative. “If the issues were not resolved amicably under your leadership then manufacturers would be compelled to stop production units due to unaffordable huge financial losses,” he added.

KP Governor assured the IAP president and industrialists that he would take up their issues at the central level efficiently and would make all possible efforts to resolve them promptly. He pledged to apprise federal ministers and relevant senior officials of the industrialists issues during an upcoming meeting in Islamabad.

He also invited the IAP president to come to the Governor House and requested him to help them writing letters to the central government regarding industrialists’ matters and issues.

Additionally, Mayor Peshawar Zubair assured to take up the issues of manufacturers related to the provincial government with the relevant departments for an amicable resolution.

IAP senior vice president of Ayub Zakori, vice president Ghulam Mohyy-ud-Din, President SCCI Muhammad Ishaq, Fazal Elahi, ex-presidents IAP Malik Niaz Ahmed and Zarak Khan, ex-presidents SCCI Zahid Shinwari, Faiz Muhammad Faizi, Sherbaz Bilour, and Hussnain Khurshid, IAP Secretary General and all member industries of IAP attended the event along with ex-senators and MNAs.