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APTMA Punjab unit convenes to discuss energy crisis
11
Dec '12
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab held an emergent meeting at the APTMA Punjab office on Monday. Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan along with Central Chairman APTMA Ahsan Bashir presided over the meeting.

The meeting was informed that textile industry in Punjab is under severe pressure due to energy crisis and mills are heading towards forced closure. Electricity load shedding has increased to eight hours a day today from four hours a day. There is also gas curtailment to the industry, which is likely to be worst from next week. But electricity supply to textile industry has reached to an alarming level, hitting hard to the industrial potential of earning $1 billion per month besides providing jobs to millions of workers in Punjab. Some 70% of textile industry located in Punjab.

The industry is being exposed to intentional electricity cuts despite the fact that the Ministry of Water & Power has the capacity of generating 18000MW, out of which 6000MW belongs to hydel and 12000MW to thermal generation. Total demand of electricity in the country is not more than 11000MW, which can easily be met by thermal generation. But still the textile industry is facing with unscheduled load shedding, started from May 2012 with incremental increase with every passing month. Today the situation has become worst and it is becoming unviable for the industry to keep its operations intact.

Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan said the APTMA members have decided to negotiate with the Ministry of Water & Power during the current week for uninterrupted electricity supply to textile industry and avoid pushing it to destruction, as it would be detrimental to country. The textile industry in Punjab would go on strike in case the government fails to address the issue of electricity supply within this week. The textile millers and workers would protest against electricity load shedding in all major textile hubs across the Punjab.

He said there was no load shedding in textile industry before May 2012. Similarly, on gas supply, the industry has faced load shedding for 77 days in 2008-09, 95 days in 2009-10, 136 days in 2010-11, 185 days in 2011-12 and 62 days in 2012-13 until 10th of December. So far, one-third capacity is closed and another 50% would be affected from next week onwards when there would be severe shortage of electricity and gas. Total load of textile industry on LESCO system is 550MW per day out of which only 300MW per day is being supplied with.

Speaking on the occasion, Group Leader APTMA Gohar Ejaz said the APTMA leadership would make sure that there is no closure of textile industry for even an hour while pursuing the government to meet the shortages for electricity generation. He said some 10 million workers are attached with textile industry in Punjab, bearing the burden of 50 million families in total. He said the Advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum & Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain has directed the SNGPL to provide gas to the Captive Power Plants (CPPs) of textile industry for three days during current week, which is a good omen.

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