ISLAMABAD: Business community on Tuesday urged the government to reduce gas and electricity tariff for the export-oriented industry to make local goods competitive on the world markets.

Speaking at a seminar on export competitiveness, Feder­ation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Presi­dent Zubair Tufail said regional countries were providing incen­tives to their export sector.

The price of gas and electricity is about 50 per cent less in other countries of the region, besides their labour is also cheap, and due to these inputs, their exports had witnessed significant increase, he observed.

The FPCCI president urged the government to reduce the price of gas, besides slashing the power tariff to give a boost to the industrial sector.

He said these measures would help in reviving the exports sector by rapid industrial growth, which would also absorb the growing labour force.

Addressing the participants, Dr Ishrat Husain, a former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, said that exports play a very important role in keeping the economy stable and stressed the need to facilitate the sector.

He said the high cost of doing business is the main cause of loss of competitiveness and retreat in the international market for Pakistani exporters.

Reasons behind decrease in exports include the high cost and unreliable availability of energy, want of skilled labour and lack of interest in imparting training to the staff on part of the exports industries, he said.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2017

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