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Saturday January 22, 2022

Textile exports dip by 61pc in first nine days of January

APTMA says that textile mills in Punjab are experiencing unanticipated disruptions resulting in significant losses to the industry

January 13, 2022
Textile production decreased by $290 million in the first nine days of 2022, according to projections. -File photo
Textile production decreased by $290 million in the first nine days of 2022, according to projections. -File photo

ISLAMABAD: In an alarming development, textile exports have dipped by 61 percent in the first nine days of the current month of January 2022. And to this effect, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has summoned a meeting to be held today (Thursday) evening, a senior official at the Commerce Ministry told The News.

Textile production decreased by $290 million in the first nine days of 2022, according to projections, with value-added textiles accounting for $213 million and other textiles accounting for $77 million. In terms of both value and volume, this loss translates into a 61 percent decline.

"The gas/ RLNG supply to export-oriented industries was cut off on December 15, 2021, and then restored on December 29, 2021, resulting in a permanent loss of 30pc of textile exports. And in December 2021 alone, the gas shutdown cost the country $250 million in lost exports."

When contacted, Muzzammil Aslam, spokesman of the finance ministry and Power Division said it is a propaganda and as per their checks, exports increased by 10pc over last year. "The first three days of January are Saturday, Sunday and Monday (bank holiday). The claim is false like $250m loss last month." He also said that the government only gives its stance after month-end data.

However, the official export data, which the commerce ministry shared with the textile industry about the steep decline in textile exports, contradicts the claims of the spokesman of the finance ministry. The ministry asked the textile industry to give reasons as to why the negative growth in exports is being registered.

When contacted by the APTMA spokesman, he confirmed that the commerce ministry has shared with the textile industry the nine days data of the current month, showing a massive decline in the textile exports.

APTMA says that textile mills in Punjab are experiencing unanticipated disruptions, inordinate breakdowns, fluctuating voltage, and flickering, resulting in significant losses to the industry. 70pc of the textile industry is based in Punjab, and the suspension of gas puts 80pc of the industry at risk of a complete halt. Rendered unable to deliver goods on order, orders once lost are a permanent loss to Pakistan, and extremely difficult if not impossible to reverse.

The grid-wise details of interruption of textile mill power outages from January 1 to January 10, 2022 have also been shared with the commerce ministry. According to the energy ministry, 94 percent of the whole industry in the country, including cement and glass industry, has never complained about the interruptions.

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