Karachi: The Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) has welcomed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent decision to reduce electricity tariffs for industries by PKR 10.69 per unit and cut petroleum product prices by more than PKR 10. KATI President Johar Qandhari praised the initiative, noting it provides significant relief to industrialists and exporters. However, he expressed concerns that a PKR 5 increase in electricity rates by NEPRA diminishes the overall benefit to just PKR 5 per unit.

Qandhari highlighted that while the government’s initial reduction was estimated to provide PKR 200 billion in relief to the industrial sector, the subsequent NEPRA adjustment has halved this benefit. He urged the government to implement more comprehensive measures to genuinely reduce production costs, enhancing the competitiveness of Pakistani products in global markets.

Additionally, Qandhari commended the government’s timing of the petrol price reduction ahead of Eid-ul-Adha, which offers a broader relief of up to PKR 35 per liter. However, he pointed out that transport fares have not been adjusted accordingly, limiting the direct benefits to the public and industrialists. He called for a reduction in transport fares to ensure the relief reaches the grassroots level and to address the ongoing issue of high transportation costs for goods.

Qandhari also expressed hope that the government would further reduce tax rates for the export industry, engage with stakeholders to address the business community’s concerns, and take practical steps to resolve industrial and export sector challenges. Such measures, he argued, are crucial for substantially increasing Pakistan’s exports, thereby enhancing national income and reducing the debt burden.