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APTMA dismayed over electricity cuts despite assurances
Apr '13
Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Ahsan Bashir has expressed dismay over unilateral disconnection of electricity supply to the textile industry on independent feeders introduced by the Ministry of Water & Power.

The Minister and the Secretary Water & Power have no idea as how to manage energy shortage. Instead of increasing production of electricity, they have resorted to curtailment of electricity supply even to export-oriented industry.

The Ministry has failed to manage the available energy of 8000MW by first denying to the domestic consumers and now to the textile industry within eight days of the present set up. It was never seen during the past regime when the previous government did not close the industry even in worst-ever crisis of energy in the country.

The industry was extended exemption from load shedding by the President from 6th February. He was addressing a hurriedly called press conference at the APTMA Punjab office. Vice Chairman APTMA Wisal Monnoo and Senior Vice Chairman APTMA Punjab were also present on the occasion.

Holding Minister and Secretary for Ministry of Water & Power responsible, Chairman APTMA said the caretaker set up has started curtailing power supply to textile industry instead of considering increase in electricity production in the country.

All the DISCOs are verbally directed to enforce six hours mandatory load shedding on the independent feeders of textile industry. Resultantly, the industry has been compelled to close down one shift of production capacity. Chairman APTMA lamented that the Ministry for Water and Power has not consulted textile industry before imposing unilateral announced and unannounced load shedding for textile industry.

He said President Asif Zardari had assured the textile industry leadership on Feb 6, 2013 that exemption available to the textile industry would not be withdrawn unilaterally by the government.

However, the DISCOs have started denying power supply to textile industry, both announced and unannounced, for about 10 hours a day. Unfortunately, this decision is Punjab specific and all textile mills in the province of Punjab are heavily affected due to the situation.

So much so, the grid trolleys have been drawn out on independent feeders in FESCO jurisdiction, denying electricity supply to mills. He said the attitude of the Ministry is not understandable to the industry, as whose agenda it is toeing by denying electricity to export-oriented textile industry.

Rather, it seems that there is a sheer lack of competence and understanding on the part of Ministry.  He added that the textile industry on independent feeders pay 100 percent electricity bills by carry minimal line losses and carry minimum line losses

He said an uninterrupted power supply to textile mills was resulted into increase in textile exports by 7 percent to US$8.48 billion from July to February 2013. He apprehendedserious law and order situation in case of closure of mills in Punjab, as heavy work force lay off would be obvious with the closure of shifts in mills.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association

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