LAHORE: Punjab based Textile Industry despite being 3rd in the gas allocation policy, is being deprived of gas supply as compared to other categories which are lower than the industry and is being supplied only 25% of allocated supply in summer. Consequently, the industry is being forced to close down, said S. M. Tanveer, Chairman APTMA.
He has expressed serious concern over fast closure of mills in Punjab owing to insufficient energy supplies, rising cost of doing business and unmatched government support by the regional competitors to their industry. APTMA has called emergent meeting of the membership on Monday to formulate industry strategy on being discriminated against.
He said the fast eroding viability of textile mills in Punjab has resulted into complete shutdown of a good number of mills while remaining are forced to close down one shift to mitigate losses.
Around 70% of Pakistan’s textile industry is located in the province of Punjab, which is extremely exposed to energy shortage and affordability as against mills in other provinces operating 24/7 due to uninterrupted gas supplies.
In Punjab, he said, the textile industry is being supplied with six hours a day gas and eight hours a day electricity load shedding, causing huge production disruptions and ultimately making it unviable with every passing day. Rough estimates suggest that $3 billion production capacity of textile industry in Punjab has been either fully or partially closed down due to suspension of one shift operations, he added.
Chairman APTMA Punjab has apprehended more closures, massive unemployment and large scale bankruptcies in the province of Punjab on account of energy disconnection viz. a viz. rest of three provinces.
He said a panic like situation gripping fast for the textile millers in Punjab and looking hopefully towards the government for a suitable bailout package.
According to him, 24/7 operation is vital for basic textile, which is an important link of the value added chain in the country to meet export commitments.
Meanwhile, he said, the liquidity of the industry is being wiped out due to the cost of energy disparity with other provinces,. Estimated to be around Rs7 billion per month on the one hand exporters lost and Rs 12 billion due to rupee revaluation against their exports and committed orders.
He said the government should ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity supply to the Punjab-based textile mills. Also, the bank markup should be lowered enabling exporting industry to compete internationally.
S M Tanveer has urged the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi, Minister for Water & Power Kh Asif, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to take stock of the situation and redress it on emergency basis.