The textile industry has sounded alarm bells over massive closure of industries as a result of gas supply cut and reduction in existing 33 percent gas quota for export-oriented textile sector in upcoming months.
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTMA) and Khurrianwala Industrial Estate Association addressed a joint press conference of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) Tuesday.
PTEA Chairman Sohail Pasha termed proposed gas closure plan as a deliberate attempt to shatter the whole industrial chain. He urged the government to step in and rescue the forex earning textile industry and its exports from current state of turmoil as challenges like energy crisis and liquidity crunch are holding this mainstay of economy back.
Pasha expressed grave concern over continuous alarming decline in exports and apprehended further loss in case the energy and financial crisis persists. He appreciated the sincere efforts of textile minister Abbas Khan Afridi to fulfill the prime minister’s vision of economic revival and to double the country’s exports. He acknowledged his true support to remove the obstacles in industrial growth. However he expressed disappointment over disinterested and non cooperative attitude of other institutions and ministries. He expressed that declining trend in exports will negatively affect the national economy.
Giving details, he said that country’s exports were down by 10.16 percent while textile exports dropped by 4 percent during first quarter of current fiscal compared to same period of outgoing fiscal. In July, textile exports were down by 2.37 percent, in August 8.38 percent and in September were 1.16 percent.
Naveed Gulzar of APTMA said that textilers were repeatedly showing concerns over the situation, but unfortunately all of its hue and cry was falling on deaf ears of the policy makers. He deplored that the government is not addressing the reasons behind the industrial crisis and situation may be alarming further in coming months as the industry in Punjab is in grip of severe energy crisis. Policymakers are not serious in resolving gas supply issue of the textile industry and available gas is being supplied to the unproductive sectors and segments, causing a loss in terms of foreign exchange, he lamented.
Former PTEA chairman Ahmad Kamal was of the view that situation is becoming unbearable for industry and a constant inefficiency is plaguing the viability of production units. This drop on exports would have dire impact on economy with already under pressure current account balance, he said, adding that textile industry is a premier industry of Pakistan earning foreign exchange and providing jobs to millions of workers. Textile industry is heading towards disaster due to non-availability of energy, lack of basic working capital, he added.