Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has expressed grave concern over sudden suspension of gas supply to industries on account of annual turnaround of gas fields. Textile exporters termed SNGPL's move unilateral and arrogant and expressed fear that present curtailment of gas would lead to huge production loss to the textile industry.
Talking to newsmen here Tuesday, Asghar Ali, Chairman and Muhammad Asif, vice chairman said that SNGPL supplied gas to the industries of Faisalabad for two days in last week and issued three days gas supply schedule on Sunday for the next week but after 24 hours, gas supply was suddenly suspended without taking the industrialists into confidence disrupting the industrial process.
They said that processing sector operates round-the-clock as textile processing is a continuous process and shutting down the operation causes heavy damages. Gas supply suspension besides affecting exports, is also causing unemployment to the textile workers, they argued.
According to Asghar Ali, textile industry is already running 50 percent below capacity due to energy constraints, ultimately affecting industry's potential to grow fast and earn foreign exchange for the country. Suspension of gas supply is hampering production of textiles and halted the industrial activities. He warned that the situation arising out of gas outages would lead to missing export orders, capital flight, labour lay-off, worsening of law and order and decline in government's revenue. On the one hand, the government was contemplating to increase growth targets while on the other its harsh decisions on gas and power outages and high utility tariffs were posing a severe threat to meeting the targets, he said.
Muhammad Asif was of the view that if gas supply to industry was not ensured, there would be great shortfall in exports of the country. Pinpointing main factors, he said that energy crisis is the major reason impacted the exports negatively. Industries remained in dire straits due to long hours power cuts and severe gas closures. When industry of any country is not provided with gas and electricity which was basic inputs, how exporters could meet their orders on time, he quipped.
PTEA leaders urged the government to take all stakeholders into confidence and stop unilateral policies and decisions and address the real and basic issue of energy to put the economy into deep gear. They demanded immediate restoration of gas supply to industries in the region.