Energy crisis in the country has led to closure of around 40,000 differently sized powerlooms in the country, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Pakistan’s Minister for Textile Industry, informed the National Assembly during a question hour.
He said as per the report released by concerned association, global financial crunch and domestic issues like energy shortage have led to closure of around 40,000 powerlooms in the size range of 44, 52, 114 and 120 inches, over the last five years. The report also states that approximately 12 percent of the closed units have switched to other textile sub-sectors like embroidery.
Around 30,000 workers are expected to have been hit by such large-scale closure of powerlooms, though it is difficult to arrive at an exact number as most of the powerlooms operate as cottage industry and are self-owned. Also, it being an informal sector, there is no documentation for these looms.
It is estimated that around 17 percent of the workers working on powerlooms have now shifted to other textile sub-sectors like embroidery.
Such closure of powerlooms has also brought the upstream sizing industry of the country closer to extinction, and it would be able to revive only after the powerlooms restart.
The Minister said the textile industry signifies the longest agro-manufacturing value chain consisting of seed, natural and synthetic fibres, yarn, greige fabric, processed fabric, and garments and other high-value added products.
He added that the textile industry of the country greatly relies on exports as around 80 percent of the domestically produced textile items are exported to other countries in one form or the other.