LAHORE: In the country’s total textile exports of $13 billion plus, Punjab contributes major share of $6 billion and the proposed gas curtailment plan for textile industry in Punjab will cut the industry to the bone which has already been running half of its capacity to the crippling energy crisis.
Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) Chairman Sohail Pasha and Vice-Chairman Rizwan Riaz said criticized that the gas curtailment plan would push the textile industry to the wall.
They termed energy shortage as the prime cause of economic instability and decline in industrial growth, saying that 50 per cent of production capacity of textile industry was already dysfunctional due to energy shortage.
The PTEA office bearers informed that the country exported goods worth $7.97 billion in July-October period of current fiscal against exports of $8.55 billion in same period of the last year, showing 6.86 percent decline.
They feared that exports were on the decline since July 2014 and things would get worse in the near future as the textile industry in Punjab had been deprived of its basic fuels.
They regretted that foreign buyers were diverting their orders to other regional countries. On time completion of an export order is a prerequisite to win any new order but unfortunately Pakistan’s export-oriented industry is unable to ensure on time delivery to their foreign buyers because of acute energy shortage.
Meanwhile, an emergent meeting of APTMA held on Thursday to consider the proposals put forward by the Prime Ministerial Special Committee on energy supply at affordable price to the Punjab-based textile industry during winter.
Central Chairman APTMA S M Tanveer, Group leader APTMA Gohar Ejaz and Chairman APTMA Punjab Seth Mohammad Akbar were also present on the occasion.
The APTMA leadership apprised the general body of the deliberations held with the Special Committee in terms of reference including proposing mechanism for sustainable gas supply to Punjab-based textile industry in winter, addressing low pressure of gas for industry and resolution of any other relevant issues. Chairmen of entire textile value chain associations were also part of the negotiations with the Committee.
The meeting reviewed the prevalent situation in the context of the energy security as well as affordability for the Punjab-based textile industry.
Members were of the considered opinion that the viability of the Punjab-based textile industry is an issue forcing the textile industry to close down operations in case the government fails to come up with workable solution and bring the energy cost at par with mills in other provinces as well as the region. Already, they said, sizeable quantities of basic textile from regional competitors have stated making inroads to The domestic commerce, threatening the existence of local industry. Also, the textile exports have witnessed unprecedented decline recently.