FAISALABAD: The energy crisis has left a devastating impact on the textile industry as exports of various products dropped in the range of 22% to 43% in March compared to the corresponding month of previous year.
According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, exports of cotton cloth in terms of quantity fell by 43%, knitwear by 32%, bedwear by 30%, towel by 22% and readymade garments by 34% compared to the same month of last year.
“The decline in textile exports in March was largely because of gas shortage and strikes,” said Rana Arif Tauseef, Chairman of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association while talking to The Express Tribune.
For the last four months, exports of textile products had plunged by $1.2 billion and if the trend continued, the figure would be $3 billion less than last year’s exports, he said.
Tauseef asked the government to provide relief on bank loan markup, which had impeded fresh investment.
“On the one hand, we have been without gas for almost half of the year and on the other hand we are enduring power outages for up to 12 hours a day,” said Waheed Khaliq Ramay, Chairman of Ramay Weaving Industries. “Many millers are unable to run their factories and pay back loans and markup.”
He said the Punjab industry had been affected the most by energy shortages. Gas supply was curtailed for 160 days in 2011 compared to 90 days in 2010.
Sadaqat Limited Chairman Mian Mukhtar Ahmad said most manufacturers had defaulted on loan repayments because of dwindling business, caused by growing energy shortages and high borrowing cost.
According to the exporters, foreign buyers were also worried with a delay in shipments forcing them to switch to other regional players.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2012.
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