KESC ups the ante on marble industry bills - Pakistan Today

KESC ups the ante on marble industry bills

The marble industry in Karachi, which has faced huge losses due to the deteriorated law and order situation last year, has been issued millions of rupees worth average bills by Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), despite closure of the industry for over three months.
The industry which is already bearing four to six hours of unscheduled power outages, has now forced to pay huge amount KESC bills KESC despite closure of the whole industry for a couple of months amidst sectarian clashed that broke out in the industrial area last year.
“Though the industries in Qasba colony area, which remained a flash point during the violence erupted in the city last year making the whole industrial units dysfunctional, KESC has issued average bills to the industrial units worth around Rs200 million which are yet to be adjusted,” Sanaullah Khan, Chairman All Pakistan Marble Mining, Processing and Export Industry told Profit on Friday.
Despite a repeated request made by the industrial sector for adjustment of the unjustified bills, KESC was yet to rectify the data causing huge losses to the crisis stricken marble industry.
“As we were told to submit the bills prior to adjust within the due dates, we have faced extra expenditure of worth millions,” he said.
The industry which has already made huge losses during the last eight months is being forced to face further losses by KESC through inflated bills and hours long load shedding, he alleged.
Besides that, supply of power to the affected area was also frequently disrupted due to poor infrastructure of the company and lack of maintenance.
Due to the power crisis during the last couple of months, the industry has been pushed further towards at least $5 million losses as its total exports by December 2011 have been recorded $17.2 million against the $22 million registered during the corresponding months of 2010.
The prolonged power outages and deteriorated law and order situation in the city have badly affected the export of marble which has declined by 63 per cent during the last seven months of the current financial year. The country has exported marble worth $19 million against the target of $30 million during July to January (2011-2012). The export of highly valued marble, under the present situation, was unlikely to meet even the reduced target of $60 million during the current financial year.
According to exporters, the country could hardly export marble worth $35 million to $40 million during the year ended June 2012 against the target which has already been reduced to $60 million from $100 million, owing to the acute electricity crisis and poor law and order situation in Karachi. The other exporters of the product like China, India, etc, have got an edge over Pakistani exporters owing to these inevitable circumstances of frequent electric load-shedding and high cost of production. The sector was now losing valued export orders from the potential foreign customers, which is causing loss of precious foreign exchange. He also stressed that instead of making short term decision for meeting shortfall of electricity and energy conservation, the authorities concerned should focus on permanent solutions to get the country rid of continued power crisis for smooth running of industrial units for the growth of industries.

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