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APTMA concerned over falling economic indicators
19
Nov '11
Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Mohsin Aziz has expressed deep concerns over falling economic indicators, likely to dampen growth of textile industry further if no timely action is taken by the authorities concerned.

He said a sharp decline of 61 percent in foreign private investment during the four months of current fiscal, lowest-ever growth rate and increase in the Non Performing Loans (NPLs) to Rs629 billion has panicked the industry at large.

Chairman APTMA said both the unbearable interest rate regime and short supply of gas to textile industry are prime reasons behind these negative economic indicators. The economic state of affairs is full of negative signals and whole economy is likely to be trapped into NPLs in case the policymakers fail to take timely actions.

He expressed the fear that the NPLs are likely to catch up further due to the deteriorating state of textile industry which is being denied by the gas supply on SNGPL network. The gas supply to the industry is in doldrums on the SNGPL network, as the supply has been reduced to four days a week against five days a week earlier, he said and added that the gas curtailment for three days during a week has impaired 40% capacity of the industry.

He asked if there was any policymaker on the earth who can suggest textile industry a recipe to perform with short energy supply and such exorbitantly interest rate but still survive and keep on making payments to banks in these circumstances.

Chairman APTMA pointed out that textile industry performs in a highly competitive environment world over and absence of a level playing field is detrimental to the growth of textile industry in Pakistan. He said the interest rate is not in double digit anywhere in the region, a phenomenon exclusively rare to Pakistan.

Mohsin said the textile industry has outperformed all industrial sectors last year by achieving record exports of $14 billion and although there was a curtailment for two days and could have achieved over $15 billion if that was even corrected. He said an uninterrupted gas supply becomes more urgent for the textile industry having a share of 9% in the GDP and employing a workforce of 15 million directly and indirectly in the country.

He said both the President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani as well federal Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain should immediately intervene to not only ensure minimum five days a week gas supply but also bring down interest rate to single digit for sustainable growth of textile industry in the larger interest of national economy.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA)

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