Minister of State for Commerce and Textile Industry Haji Akram Muhammad Ansari Stated That Electricity And Gas Prices Must Be Reduced To Enable Industry To Compete In The International Market.
This was stated by Haji Akram Ansari while talking exclusively to this correspondent on Wednesday. "Gas and electricity prices would be reduced and need to be reduced to lower input costs of export oriented sectors and make them competitive internationally which would increase exports”, he added.
Akram Ansari said that implementation of the prime minister’s incentive package for exporters was suspended due to the prevailing situation, but now Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is taking a keen interest and the relief package is being implemented.
The government is now focusing on power generation from coal, gas, water and wind instead of only relying on expensive imported oil due to which the generation cost will decline and be passed on to the consumers. The minister further said that government has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to clear all the Refund Payment Orders (RPOs) pending till September 30, 2017 to improve exporters’ liquidity position.
The country exports increased by 11.4 percent during the first three months (July-September) of the current fiscal year and "We are hoping that this increasing trend would continue during the remaining period of the fiscal year”, he added.
The State Minister said that the government is giving greater focus to value-added sectors instead of relying only on raw material exports and that is why more incentives were being given to these sectors. He also revealed that the Prime Minister has given the task of framing recommendations in consultation with all the stakeholders designed to reduce the cost of doing-business and boost country exports to the Ministry of Commerce and Textile Industry. After finalisation of the recommendations, these would be shared with the PM, he added.