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Textile millers urge govt to restore gas supply to industry, calculate $1 bln loss  

The APTMA claims closure of 300 units because of gas suspension

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Textile millers urge govt to restore gas supply to industry,  calculate $1 bln loss   
GNN Media: Representational Photo

LAHORE: The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Wednesday urged the federal government to restore gas supply to textile industry on an urgent basis as the industry had suffered a loss of almost $1 billion in exports due to non availability of gas and closure of more than 300 textile mills.  

APTMA Chairman Abdul Rahim Nasir told a press conference at his office 26% upsurge in export of textiles during fiscal year 2021-22 was made possible only due to supply of energy at regionally competitive tariff.

He added that textile industry showed exemplary performance of uplifting textile exports from $ 12.5 Billion in 2020 to almost $ 20 Billion in 2022 registering 60% hike in exports. 

Chairman APTMA North Mr Hamid Zaman, Senior Vice Chairman Kamran Arshad and Secretary General Mr Raza Baqir, Rahim Nasir were also present.

Nasir said exponential growth in textile sector has promoted investment of over $5 billion and establishment of 100 new textile units which when become operational would result in fetching additional export of more than $500 million per month or $6 billion per annum.   

He pointed out that gas supply to industry has been suspended since June 30, 2022 which has almost halted production in the whole value added textile industry causing colossal loss to the economy.

He added large scale closure of mills has resulted in massive layoffs and unemployment spreading economic chaos. 

The APTMA chief further said that it is inexplicable that the exporting sector, which was committed to uplift textile exports to $25 billion during 2022-23 and over $2 billion per month, is being denied energy / gas.  He said that incessant supply of gas was imperative for textile industry to maintain momentum of export.  

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman APTMA North Mr Hamid Zaman said the textile sector has repeatedly delivered its commitment to enhance exports and proven that they are a viable and long-term solution provider for economic stability of the country. 

He observed that more than 50% of output will be lost this month with the very high risk of losing orders on a permanent basis and diversion of buyers from Pakistan to its competitors.  

Zaman continued that currently textile industry was providing goods for the forthcoming Christmas and any delay in delivery schedule is fraught with risks of losing export markets for indefinite period with little chances for revival.  

“If this momentum is lost due to energy supply and cost constraints, Pakistan will be forced to seek an additional $6 billion in loans from abroad, which under the circumstances may not even be possible,” he stated. 

Therefore, he said, under these circumstances, the gas supply to export oriented industry may be restored immediately. 

Kamran Arshad, Senior Vice Chairman highlighting importance of textile sector in the mainstay of country’s economy stated that textiles have 61% share in country’s exports and 40% of manufacturing sector employment. He added that the fragile economy of the country cannot sustain consequences of closure of mills in the wake of non supply of gas. 

Arshad stated that if the present opportunity of exports is lost due to non supply of gas, Pakistan would be forced to adopt heavy borrowing which is not at all feasible due to the current scenario.

He urged the government for adopting correct policy and restoration of gas without wastage of any further time.

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