Gas supply to textile mills in Punjab: APTMA criticises non-implementation of Prime Minister's orders
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) leadership has said gas supply to the textile industry in Punjab has been completely disconnected since 20th December 2012.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013
Talking the media, the central Chairman Ahsan Bashir and Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan said there is zero supply of gas to the textile mills on the SNGPL network and the industry got gas merely for three days in between 1st to 20th December 2012 after which there a complete shutdown of gas supply to textile mills in Punjab.
According to the APTMA leadership, the textile industry in Punjab has witnessed unhistorical blackout of electricity supply from 22nd December to 1st of January 2013. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and his key Cabinet members took notice of the situation and directed for 16 hours day uninterrupted power supply to textile mills in Punjab.
Unfortunately, this decision has not been implemented in true letter and spirit and there is yet three hours unscheduled load shedding besides eight hours a day scheduled load shedding for industry in Punjab. Central Chairman APTMA Ahsan Bashir said that gas supply to the textile industry in Punjab is already in limbo; resulting into over 30 per cent capacity closure, lay off the workforce and cancellation of export orders.
The role of Advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum & Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain in highly adverse circumstances is highly appreciable. It is responsibility of every government to react immediately and act prudently whenever there is a crisis like situation for any sector of the industry in country.
Dr Asim Hussain has been taking steps to resolve energy crisis of textile industry in Punjab in a prudent, fair and transparent manner. An appropriate gas load management policy devised by Dr Asim Hussain has helped the industry floating even in the challenging period it is passing through.
Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan said there is no comparison between the textile industry and the CNG pumps, as textile industry earns $14 billion and provides jobs to 45 per cent of the total manufacturing sector workforce while consuming less gas comparing with the CNG pumps. Also, the total employment of 3200 CNG pumps in the country may be equivalent to the strength of a single textile unit.
It is also an open secret that the CNG Association has usurped the precious energy resources of the province of Punjab and contributed to creating circular debt of Rs 700 billion. He said total demand of textile industry is not more than 500mmcfd out of 4000mmcfd gas totally available in the country, which is 12.5 per cent. According to him, Dr Asim Hussain had announced gas supply for six hours a day to mitigate the impact of electricity load shedding in Punjab. However, this announcement could not be materialised due to complete suspension of electricity to textile mills in Punjab.