LAHORE: Textile mill owners of Punjab have announced that they will start a series of protests to save the billion-dollar industry because of the failure of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) to supply gas without interruption for four days a week.
At a meeting held at the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) House, the millers decided to take all possible measures, including resorting to strikes and road blockages throughout Punjab and obtaining stay orders from courts, if gas supply was not ensured for four days a week as per promise of the federal minister for petroleum and natural resources.
Aptma Group Leader Gohar Ijaz, while briefing the media after the meeting, said around 80 per cent of textile industries were in Punjab which employed 15 million people, but the government was neglecting the province which was providing food and shelter to millions of people.
He said some ministers presented a summary in the cabinet, recommending gas curtailment for 90 days, adding such policies were pushing the industry towards bankruptcy.
“Petroleum Minister Asim Hussain assured us of gas supply for four days this Saturday, but gas pressure was almost zero for 70 per cent of textile units on Sunday,” said Aptma Punjab Chairman Ahsan Bashir.
“We are waiting for this Thursday, if we are provided with gas, then it will be okay, otherwise we respond by holding protests,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2011.