The Marble Factory Owners Association in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have called for a shutter down strike against the collection of charges in terms of Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA) in electricity bills.
The association said that they are forced to shut down their units as they are unable to pay such a hefty amount in electricity bills.
The electricity consumers in KP are forced to pay FPA, marble industry in particular is charged an additional Rs.600,000 to Rs1 million in electricity bills, said Marble Industry Association Provincial President Sajjad Khan.
He further said that a unanimous resolution was passed in KP Assembly against FPA as the province is producing cheap electricity from its hydel resources.
Sajjad Khan further said that power generation in KP is 5700 megawatts while the province consumption is hardly 2300 megawatts. However, it has to purchase this expensive electricity from the federal government at Rs52 per unit.
According to Malakand Marble Association Senior Vice President Gul Roz Khan more than 80 per cent of the industry in KP has been shut down due to expensive electricity.
He said that more than 5000 marble factories now find it difficult to survive in this environment.
Gul Roz said that the marble industry is a major source of employment in KP.
He said that more than 6000 trucks, more than 3000 mining excavators, bulldozers, spare parts shops, hotels, petrol stations in Buner district are directly associated with the marble industry.
The Awami National Party (ANP) has submitted an adjournment motion in the KP assembly against the ‘drastic’ increase in electricity bills due to Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA).
The adjournment motion stated that marble and other factories in KP have been closed due to the “exorbitant” increase in taxes.
“Factory owners and thousands of workers have been forced to protest and thousands of families of factory workers are now jobless,” the adjournment motion said.
The adjournment motion said that the central government should abide by the constitution and allow provinces to benefit from their natural resources.
In addition the motion stated that the increase in electricity prices was “tantamount to robbing” people of KP of their constitutional rights.
The motion demanded that the KP government stand firm and retrieve the province’s legal and constitutional rights from the federal government.