Pakistan Electric Fan Industry Objects To Imposed Unilateral Restrictions
The industry is willing to shift to inverter technology or energy-efficient fans in general because market consumers demand such products.
The Pakistan electric fan industry is outraged that the federal government has imposed unilateral restrictions on it, requiring it to produce energy-efficient fans without first consulting the manufacturers. According to them, talks have taken place between fan manufacturers and Pakistan Standard Quality Control.
The Public Sector Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) was working on the issue, but the government imposed the unilateral restrictions without considering the “ground realities” of the sector, which primarily consisted of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that had yet to build capacity in this regard.
They claim, however, that the industry is willing to shift to inverter technology or energy-efficient fans in general because market consumers demand such products.
A meeting of industry representatives and a cabinet committee led by federal minister is scheduled for January 10 (Tuesday) in Islamabad to discuss issues pertaining to the implementation of government decisions in connection with recent federal cabinet measures for energy conservation in the country.
According to Umair Rafique, chairman of the Pakistan Electric Fan Manufacturers Association (PEFMA), the industry was not considered before the restrictions were announced. He claims that the manufacturers are concerned about these restrictions because negotiations with the PSQCA were still ongoing at the time these restrictions were announced.
One of the major issues, he says, is the availability of raw materials and technology, particularly for SMEs. He goes on to say that because there is a 17% duty on the import of electric steel sheet, the basic raw material, small manufacturers must rely on commercial importers, and SMEs lack the capacity to directly import quality raw materials.
Furthermore, he claims that the circuit kit, magnet, copper, and aluminium are all import-related items, and that due to the country’s current financial situation, a large number of containers carrying such material are being held at the port, causing a shortage and compounding the difficulties of such manufacturers.
He stated that all of these issues would be discussed at the cabinet committee meeting, as the imposition of a fine on the industry had caused serious concern among the business community. He stated that PEFMA had demanded that the standards be implemented gradually or voluntarily so that SMEs could build capacity during the period.
Another manufacturer claims that at least 40 to 50 percent of electric fan production has already shifted to inverter technology, with the technology used in ceiling, pedestal, and bracket fans. Such fans, he says, are in high demand in Sindh and Balochistan.
He claims that the restrictions will expose the business community to exploitation by corrupt officials, lamenting that the government has attempted to shift all of the burden of energy conservation onto the fan industry, which he claims is unjustified, rather than addressing electricity theft, the use of furnace oil to generate energy, and improving recovery from power defaulters.
Mr. Rafique believes that the industry should be given at least a couple of years to transition voluntarily to inverter technology because SMEs may require more funds during this time to purchase the necessary machinery.
There are at least 200–250 fan manufacturing units in Gujrat and Gujranwala, with a few units also in Karachi and Lahore. The industry has contributed. Each year, the export of its products contributes at least $30 million to the national economy.