September 13, 2013
The Pakistan Steel Melters Association (PSMA) has urged the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to issue notification permitting equal installments of fuel price adjustment up to June 30, 2014. The industry sources told Business Recorder that the association’s representatives in a meeting with the Nepra high-ups held on September 9, apprised them about the worries of the industry.
The steel melting industry is facing severe liquidity crunch due a number of accounts including recent devastating floods and discriminately high electricity tariff for the Punjab based industry. The furnaces are already running under-capacity and producing only 1.5 to 1.8 million tons against the installed capacity of over 4 million tons, the sources added.
The sources further said that the dealers of the flood hit districts in Punjab failed to pay back the price of steel bars and other products. As many as 80 percent of the steel melting industry is based in Punjab where recent floods played havoc in various districts including Sialkot, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Narowal, Chiniot, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Kasur and Bahawalpur.
The stocks with the dealers could not be consumed in the absence of construction activity in such areas which negatively impacted the furnaces which were already becoming uncompetitive due to high electricity tariff. According to them, the Nepra high-ups while giving sympathetic consideration to the genuine demands of the furnaces, assured to provide relief and promised to allow equal installments of the fuel price adjustment up to June 30, 2013. The electricity bills are likely to be issued shortly whereas the industry people want to pay them within due date. Therefore, the Nepra should facilitate the industry at this crucial moment, the sources added.
The association has also written a letter to the Nepra DG Tariff stressing the need for issuance of necessary notification to allow equal installments of the fuel price charges besides issuing directions to all the electricity distribution companies in Punjab in this regard. Courtesy Business Recorder
Published in ZaraiMedia.com