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April 9, 2013

APTMA blames ministry for power supply cut

World

AFP
April 9, 2013

LAHORE: The Chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Ahsan Bashir, has expressed dismay over the unilateral disconnection of electricity supply to the textile industry on independent feeders introduced by the Ministry of Water & Power, says a press release.
He was addressing a hurriedly-called press conference at the APTMA Punjab office. Vice Chairman APTMA Wisal Monnoo and Senior Vice Chairman Punjab were also present on the occasion.
He said the minister and secretary water & power had no idea as to how to manage the energy shortage. Instead of increasing the production of electricity, they had resorted to curtailment of electricity supply even to export-oriented the industry.
The ministry has failed to manage the available energy of 8,000MWs by first denying power to the domestic consumers and now to the textile industry within eight days of the present set-up.
It was never seen during the past regime when the previous government did not close the industry even in then worst-ever crisis of energy in the country. The industry was extended exemption from loadshedding by the president from February 6.
Holding the minister and secretary for the Ministry of Water & Power responsible, the APTMA chairman said the caretaker set-up had started curtailing the power supply to textile industry instead of considering an increase in electricity production in the country. feeders of textile industry. Resultantly, the industry has been compelled to close down one shift of production capacity.
He lamented that the Ministry for Water and Power has not consulted textile industry before imposing unilateral announced and unannounced load shedding for textile industry. He said President Asif Zardari had assured the textile industry leadership on Feb 6, 2013 that exemption available to the textile industry would not be withdrawn unilaterally by the government. However, the DISCOs have started denying power supply to textile industry, both

announced and unannounced, for about 10 hours a day. Unfortunately, this decision is Punjab specific and all textile mills in the province of Punjab are heavily affected due to the situation. So much so, the grid trolleys have been drawn out on independent feeders in FESCO jurisdiction, denying electricity supply to mills. He said the attitude of the ministry is not understandable to the industry, as whose agenda it is toeing by denying electricity to export-oriented textile industry. Rather, it seems that there is a sheer lack of competence and understanding on the part of Ministry. He added that the textile industry on independent feeders pay 100 percent electricity bills by carry minimal line losses and carry minimum line losses
He said an uninterrupted power supply to textile mills was resulted into increase in textile exports by 7 percent to US$8.48 billion from July to February 2013. He apprehended serious law and order situation in case of closure of mills in Punjab, as heavy work force lay off would be obvious with the closure of shifts in mills.