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KARACHI: Feroze Alam Lari, chairman of the Towel Manufacturers’ Association of Pakistan, has said that despite the availability of a huge quantity of value-added textile export orders with the exporters of this country, different issues from time to time pinch the balloon of growing exports of the textile sector.

The export sector is already facing a scarcity of cotton yarn in the domestic market due to reduction in the production of cotton bales and export of cotton yarn which is the basic raw material of textile. Now the proverbial last nail in the coffin of the textile exporters is the non–availability of gas in the coming days for the industry. Gas is the basic fuel for manufacturing and processing of textile goods.

Despite COVID-19 across the world, the textile exporters of this country engaged the international buyers and fetched valuable export orders from them due to the export-friendly initiatives and policies of the government.

The export-oriented industry is in a predicament nowadays, and it has expressed its severe concerns over the decision taken by the government to cut gas supply to the general industrial units from February 2021 and to the export-oriented industry from March 2021. If we cast a glance on the past we see that due to the shortage of electricity in the country, the export sector had invested huge amounts in captive power to generate electricity for their own units on the instructions of the government. Non-availability of gas as well as scarcity of electricity in the country will be a major obstacle for the exporters.

Being an association of the export-oriented sector, we strongly believe that the cutting of supply of gas to the domestic industry will put a dent in the export supply chain. Therefore, the export sector will be disturbed, and the exporters will not perform manufacturing of goods smoothly. In the second phase the government will cut down gas supply to the export industry from March 2021. It will be a huge shock for our export industry. The exporters of this beloved country will not be able to fulfill their commitment to the international buyers on time.

We are gripped by the fear of facing the prospect of cancelation of export orders due to failure to keep our promises of delivering the goods to the international buyers on time. This would result in our customers switching to our competitors which would be a huge loss to this country.

The export of textile goods is the backbone of our economy. The value-added textile export industry of this country contributes around 62% to total exports. The textile sector provides the highest number of urban employment, particularly to the female workforce, and it supports 40 allied industries in the country. The textile industry also plays a vital role in generating employment and helping in reducing poverty in the country and earning valuable foreign exchange for the national kitty.—PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021