PIAF terms 2010 nerve-shat­ter­ing year for trade, in­dus­try

The Pak Banker - - 2 National - St a f f Re­porter

LA­HORE: While draw­ing up a roadmap for the re­vival of econ­omy for the year 2011, Pak­istan In­dus­trial and Traders As­so­ci­a­tions Front (PIAF) Mon­day termed the year 2010 as nerve-shat­ter­ing for the trade and In­dus­try.

"Power out­ages, re­peated hikes in elec­tric­ity rates, gas short­age, price spi­ral, mis­man­age­ment and bad gov­er­nance were the hall­marks of the out­go­ing year."

The meet­ing was chaired by PIAF Chair­man Ir­fan Qaiser Sheikh while it was also ad­dressed by PIAF Vice Chair­men Iqbal Baig Chug­tai, Khawaja Shahzeb Akram and for­mer LCCI Pres­i­dent Mian An­jum Nisar.

The power tar­iff reg­is­tered an up­ward trend of 67 per­cent in 2010 while it was al­most hun­dred per­cent in the last three years. Due to this sin­gle rea­son, Pak­istani mer­chan­dise failed to get due ap­pre­ci­a­tion at the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket and the neigh­bor­ing coun­tries made huge gains as the rate of elec­tric­ity for the in­dus­try in Bangladesh was 9.5 cents, in In­dia it was 9 cents against a rate of 13 cents in Pak­istan.

They said that the en­tire trade and in­dus­try suf­fered heavy losses in 2010 due to re­peated long hours sched­uled and un­sched­uled power out­ages and re­sul­tant dis­rup­tions in pro­duc­tion pro­cesses.

The par­tic­i­pants of the meet­ing urged the govern­ment to declare the year 2011 as the Year of Power Gen­er­a­tion and ini­ti­ate work on mega wa­ter projects in­clud­ing Kal­abagh Dam.

"Un­less and un­til de­pen­dence on ther­mal power is cur­tailed, there are hardly any chances of eco­nomic re­vival and pre­cious for­eign ex­change was be­ing spent on oil im­port."

The PIAF Chair­man also stressed the need for bring­ing down the fast es­ca­lat­ing rate of in­fla­tion that has now started tak­ing its toll. While call­ing for bring­ing down the rate of in­ter­est, the PIAF of­fice-bear­ers said that the state Bank of Pak­istan should di­vert its at­ten­tion to­wards bank­ing spread that is in­tol­er­a­ble and tak­ing the eq­uity away from the reach of the busi­ness com­mu­nity.

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