LAHORE: The prevailing uncertainty owing to the delay in issuance of a notification for a regionally competitive energy price by the government has impacted the growth in exports, production and investment, said All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Punjab Chairman Adil Bashir on Monday.
He said the government had announced in a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on September 27 to provide energy supply to the Punjab-based exporting industry, both for captive and processing use, at regionally competitive price to make it viable and revive the closed capacity.
He added that another long-term objective of this initiative was to attract new investment and double the textile and clothing exports.
The export data for October 2018 indicates that both the industry and exports have become a victim of the prevailing uncertainty, as the export of cotton yarn and cotton cloth have dropped by over 39% and 24.11%, respectively against the corresponding period. Also, the overall exports of textile and clothing have declined by 0.21% during the same period.
Bashir questioned as to why there was a delay in the notification despite a firm assurance for the textile sector from Prime Minister Imran Khan. The gas is being supplied at Rs488 per mmbtu in Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa against Rs1,663 per mmbtu for the mills in Punjab, he added.
The official was of the opinion that the industry in Punjab cannot survive under the given circumstances, hence how can we talk about its revival. Already, he added, 30% of the production capacity across spinning, weaving and processing sectors with an export potential worth $4 billion has been closed down due to the high cost of business in the province of Punjab.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2018.