LAHORE: Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Abdul Rahim Nasir has urged the federal government to restore gas supply to textile industry on an urgent basis, stressing that a loss of almost $1 billion in exports has already taken place due to non availability of gas and closure of more than 300 textile mills.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday at APTMA House, Lahore along with Chairman APTMA North Hamid Zaman, Senior Vice Chairman Kamran Arshad and Secretary General Raza Baqir, Rahim Nasir said that 26 percent upsurge in export of textiles during fiscal year 2021-22 was made possible only due to supply of energy at regionally competitive tariff. He added that textile industry showed exemplary performance of uplifting textile exports from $12.5 billion in 2020 to almost $20 billion in 2022 registering 60 percent hike in exports.
Rahim said exponential growth in textile sector has promoted investment of over $5 billion and establishment of 100 new textile units which when become operational would result in fetching additional export of more than $500 million per month or $6 billion per annum.
He pointed out that gas supply to industry has been suspended since June 30 2022, which has almost halted production in the whole value added textile industry causing colossal loss to the economy. He said large scale closure of mills has resulted in massive layoffs and unemployment spreading economic chaos.
Rahim Nasir further said that it is inexplicable that the exporting sector, which was committed to uplift textile exports to $25 billion during 2022-23 and over $2 billion per month, is being denied energy/gas. He said that incessant supply of gas was imperative for textile industry to maintain momentum of export.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman APTMA North Hamid Zaman said that the textile sector has repeatedly delivered its commitment to enhance exports and proven that they are a viable and long-term solution provider for economic stability of the country.
He observed that more than 50 percent of output will be lost this month with the very high risk of losing orders on a permanent basis and diversion of buyers from Pakistan to its competitors.
Zaman continued that currently textile industry was providing goods for the forthcoming Christmas and any delay in delivery schedule is fraught with risks of losing export markets for indefinite period with little chances for revival.
“If this momentum is lost due to energy supply and cost constraints, Pakistan will be forced to seek an additional $6 billion in loans from abroad, which under the circumstances may not even be possible,” he stated.
Therefore, he said, under these circumstances, the gas supply to export oriented industry may be restored immediately.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022