'Gas outages taking a toll on Pakistani hosiery industry'
Too many adversities and continued power crunch is expected to lead to closure of Pakistan's labour-oriented textile industry, including hosiery manufacturing and exports. It would also increase the redundancy ratio in the country which may, in turn, result in industrial turbulences and deterioration of law and order situation.
Ex-Chairman and Chief Co-ordinator of Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) North Zone, Chaudhry Salamat Ali, said Pakistan's industrial and textile policies have failed to deliver any positive outcome so far owing to the issue of gas load-shedding and the rising tariffs and fuel adjustment charges for power and gas, which are rising with each passing month.
He stated that increasing cost of production is the main problem confronting the textile industry at present and the recent decision to end the duty drawback refund scheme would further worsen the situation and lead to intensification of financial crisis.
Announcement for the local duty drawback was made under the Textile Policy 2009-14 and several steps that were initiated as a part of the said policy yielded positive results. It has resulted in an increase in exports of value-added textile products over past two years. In spite of this, investments in the sector have receded and industrial production is also plummeting.
Mr. Salamat Ali stressed on the need to comprehensively exploit the national resources in larger interest of the economy. He also suggested constitution of a National Export Council with representatives from all textile associations and chambers.
Further, while criticising the Economic Co-ordination Committee's decision of continuing the three-day per week gas load-shedding for upcountry export-oriented textile industry, he emphasized that owing to the gas cut the industry is already falling short to meet its export target, and its growth potential is also affected.
He demanded that the textile industry should be spared from gas load-shedding in greater interest of the country.
Owing to all the adversities confronting the industry, Pakistani textile exporters are not being able to execute their export orders in time, following which overseas customers are losing faith in them.
Over the past two years, gas prices have gone up by almost 93 percent, which has rendered Pakistani textile goods uncompetitive in global market and continued gas outages are further adding to the problems of the textile entrepreneurs and several other people linked with the industry.
Mr. Ali said the Government needs to find a permanent solution to the issues, as these are not only affecting the productivity of textile industry, but is also increasing problems of a number of daily workers who are suffering due to closure of several textile units.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India