Extra day of gas closure angers textile industry

Representatives claim Rs1.5b in daily losses, hit back at govt.

Imran Rana October 30, 2012

FAISALABAD: Representatives of the textile industry have expressed resentment at a breach of agreement by gas authorities.

Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) Chairman Asghar Ali and Vice Chairman Muhammad Asif told journalists here on Tuesday that gas utilities had promised to restore supply to industries in Punjab on October 29, and industrialists and exporters had scheduled their production plans and called their labour accordingly. However, they said that the duration of gas load-shedding has now been extended arbitrarily without taking stakeholders on board.

“This closure has drastically cut down the manufacturing goods meant for export, rendered millions of workers jobless; and has inflicted Rs1-1.5 billion in losses on the industry,” they added. “Industry and exports have suffered massive productivity and supply losses, as the manufacturing process was halted by gas load-shedding. With such breaks in industrial activity, how can exporters meet deadlines and supply Christmas sales orders to our buyers on time?” they asked.

“When the government is unable to bridge the gap between demand and supply, it should at least take all the stakeholders into confidence and announce a proper schedule for the industry, so that the latter can adjust their production plans according to the announced schedule,” they said.

Ali also expressed concern over a decline in bed-wear exports due to the energy shortage and said that exports of bed-wear have registered a steep fall in both quantity and value terms during September 2012. Citing official figures, Ali said that exports of bed-wear have declined by 7.73% in quantity terms, and 7.92% in value terms in September 2012, as against the corresponding period of the preceding year.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2012.


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