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APTMA warns of severe consequences if gas supply reduced

Jun '12
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has warned of severe consequences if the government reduces gas supply to textile industry by one day a week.

In a hurriedly called video conference of all zones on Sunday (the holiday), the APTMA leadership strongly objected to the move and urged the government to immediately withdraw the decision otherwise textile workers would come on streets against it.

The meeting was attended by the group leader APTMA Gohar Ejaz besides the Chairman APTMA Mohsin Aziz, Chairman APTMA Punjab Ahsan Bashir, Chairman APTMA Sindh Yasin Siddique, Chairman Energy Committee APTMA Shahzad Ali Khan and Vice Chairmen APTMA from all the zones.

It may be noted that the government is likely to reduce gas supply to textile industry for generating 300MW electricity.

The APTMA leadership pointed out that closing down a productive sector of economy would lead to further unemployment and exports loss to the country.

It further added that the government was trying to complicate the situation, as only 50,000 tones of furnace oil is required to generate 3000MW electricity but the policymakers were adamant to deprive textile industry from gas availability by taking third day from Punjab and proposing closing down industry in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunka for once a week.

The APTMA leadership condemned the approach and said the economic team of the government was not advising rightly to the Prime Minister. Closing down textile industry by cutting gas supply to a productive sector was not the solution, it said, adding: There was a shortage of 6000MW in the system and taking third day from textile industry in Punjab would only generate 300MW that would not solve the problem. Instead, it would render another one million workers jobless besides causing Rs100 billion loss to the industry.

All the participants of the meeting condemned the decision vehemently, as a cut of gas supply by even a day per week would infuriate textile workers.

The APTMA leadership expressed wonders over the highly uneconomic approach on the part of government and feared that it would be detrimental to the country’s exports, revenues, jobs and cotton farmers.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman APTMA Mohsin Aziz said textile industry was already operating 40% below capacity that has hit exports by over 30% at the end of 2011-12 besides rendering one million textile workers jobless across the country.

Chairman APTMA said the industry has already suffered a loss of Rs500 billion due to short supply of energy and the size of Non Performing Loans (NPLs) has become over 30% of total banking sector liabilities against industry.

He said putting the textile industry in Punjab under further pressure would not be advisable, especially when the government is entering into election year. Instead of cutting gas supply to industry, the government should increase supply of furnace oil to power plants to meet shortage of 6000MW, he suggested, adding that government had never cut gas supply to textile industry in the past to meet this sortage.

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