LAHORE: Country’s textiles on Wednesday demanded immediate resumption of gas supply to save around 300 hundred units from closure as industry export losses have hit a whopping $1 billion...
LAHORE: Country’s textiles on Wednesday demanded immediate resumption of gas supply to save around 300 hundred units from closure as industry export losses have hit a whopping $1 billion because of the energy crisis.
“The supply of energy at a regionally competitive tariff led to a 26 percent increase in textile exports during FY2022,” said Abdul Rahim Nasir, Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), addressing a presser. Nasir was flanked by Aptma North Zone Chairman Hamid Zaman, Senior Vice Chairman Kamran Arshad and Secretary General Raza Baqir.
The Aptma chairman said the textile exports jumped by 60 percent from $12.5 billion in 2020 to almost $20 billion in 2022 primarily because of the same.
“The exponential growth in the textile sector has drawn an investment of over $5 billion and the gave rise to 100 new textile units that after commissioning will result in new exports over $500 million/month or $6 billion/annum,” he said.
The gas supply to industry has been suspended since June 30, 2022, which has almost halted production in the entire value-added textile industry, causing a colossal loss to the economy.
The large-scale closure of mills has caused massive layoffs, spreading economic chaos, Nasir said, adding, starving the country’s largest exporting sector of gas and power was hard to understand.
Hamid Zaman, Chairman Aptma North Zone, said the textile sector had repeatedly delivered on its commitment to enhance exports and proved they were a viable and long-term solution provider for the economic stability of the country.
“Over 50 percent of the production 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 said. He said currently the textile industry was providing goods for the forthcoming Christmas and any delay in the deliveries was fraught with risks of losing export markets for an indefinite period with little chances for revival.
“If this momentum is lost due to the energy supply and cost constraints, Pakistan will be forced to seek an additional $6 billion in loans from abroad, which under the current circumstances, might not even be possible,” he added.
Therefore, he said, under this situation, the gas supply to the export-oriented industry must immediately be resumed.