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April 8, 2020

Textile exporters demand opening of 150 mills in Sindh

National

April 8, 2020

KARACHI: Textile exporters have demanded the Sindh government to allow operations of export-oriented 150 mills in the province while the Sindh government has prepared a list of 70 such factories.

Spokesman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) told The News that they had given the list of their 57 members in Sindh to the Sindh Chief Secretary, some of the members had more than two units while other mills were from other bodies.

He said they had suggested opening of export-oriented mills, which had orders, besides those mills that had their own labour colonies, under standard health protocols. The list included mills under the banner of Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) as well.

Majority of mills in Nooriabad and Kotri in Sindh have their own labour colonies, he said. He said APTMA had around 300 members in the country, of which 150 were exporters.

The spokesman said that they were in continuous communication with the Sindh government on day-to-day basis while the latest meeting was held with chief secretary on Tuesday, which was attended by a number of industrialists.

On the other hand, the Sindh government has prepared a list of 70 export-oriented mills that would likely be allowed to operate after following SOPs. Representatives of these mills have told the government that they would be ready to follow the government's instructions within three to five days of preparation.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, keeping in view the COVID-19 threat, has constituted a committee of health experts, labour and industries department secretaries and representatives of police and Rangers to prepare Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) for factories so that could be allowed to start operation.

In a meeting, the chief minister said that he had held a meeting with the industrialists, particularly those who were producing goods for export and they had requested him to allow the operation of their factories so that they could honour the export orders. “The request is important and genuine, therefore, a way out can be made for them,” he said.

After thorough discussion and debate, it was decided that an SOP should be worked out for operationalization of the factories. The chief minister directed the additional chief secretary home to form a committee comprising medical professionals/experts, industries and labour secretaries, senior members of law enforcement agencies and other concerned to prepare a well-thought-out and workable SOP for operationalization of the factories.