Expressing serious concern over unprecedented gas and power outages, Asghar Ali said that industry was given gas for five and half day in last 36 days despite the assurance given by the federal advisor Dr Asim Hussain for 25 percent gas supply to the industry. Textile industry was denied gas for 77 days in 2008-09, followed by 100 days in 2009-10 and 157 days in 2010-11, he added.
He said that 14 to 16 hours daily electricity outage and gas supply cut had affected 50 percent capacity of textile industry that had no alternate option to run its operation. To run industry on alternate fuel including diesel and furnace oil was not a viable proposition, he added.
He termed energy shortage as the prime cause of decline in industrial growth as 50 percent of production capacity of textile industry was dysfunctional due to short supply of electricity and gas. Asghar Ali said that "we have never witnessed the situation in history, as energy shortfall had totally been shifted to the industry in Punjab. There is acute energy supply cut and the situation is quite mind-boggling for millers."
In 14 billion dollars textile exports, Punjab was the major stakeholder with six billion dollars' share, he said, adding it was very unfortunate that the government had failed to ensure some relief to the industrial sector and always raised hollow slogans about the availability of electricity.
He said at a time when all the neighbouring countries were on the path of rapid growth, the economic situation in Pakistan was getting out of hand. It was not the production loss alone but the loss of export orders also as it was a known fact that a large number of foreign buyers were now placing their orders to the other regional countries, he said.
On time delivery of an export order was a prerequisite to win any new order but unfortunately Pakistan's export-oriented industry in general and the industry in Punjab in particular were unable to ensure timely delivery to foreign buyers because of acute power shortage, he added.
PTEA Chairman said textile sector was the backbone of national economy that needed to be further strengthened by adopting investor-friendly policies and ensuring unremitting energy supply to export-oriented industries. He called upon the government to take serious steps to endure the industry and focus should also be on the value addition as textile sector needed to enhance quality and production capabilities.