PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textile Mills Association (KPTMA) has called the fresh gas price hike a blow to the country’s textile sector and urged the government to withdraw the increase.

In a statement issued here on Friday, KPTMA chairman Mohammad Kamran Shah said the decision to increase gas prices by 14.58 per cent after a staggering

150 per cent increase three months ago had resulted in overall increase of 222.77 per cent since December 31, 2022.

Mr Shah said the caretaker government had increased the tariff in November 2023 by 118.18 per cent as compared to the rate applicable in January 2023, and 181.69 per cent from the rate applicable till December 31, 2022.

“The increase in gas tariff is beyond the limit of the export-oriented textile industry, rendering it uncompetitive in the international market. Increase in gas prices thrice

since January 2023 has put an extra and unmanageable burden on the textile industry, especially that of KP,” he said.

Mr Shah said half of the textile industries in KP had already ceased operations, with the remaining enterprises teetering on the brink of closure.

He added the recent notification from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority announcing yet another gas

price hike on February 15 had further exacerbated the industry’s plight.

He called for a maximum 20 per cent increase in utility prices annually, warning that anything beyond this threshold would render the market untenable.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2024

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