Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), which covers areas of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, has assured the disgruntled textile industrialists that it will restore 25% of gas supply from the beginning of next month, after a hiatus of about two months.
A decision in this connection was reached in a meeting between the management of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) and Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain and SNGPL Managing Director Arif Hameed on Saturday.
Gas supply to the industry has remained completely shut since December 5, 2012 and electricity supply was stopped from December 22 to January 1, causing a 40% drop in industrial production in Punjab. Later, the electricity was restored on the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari to the Ministry of Water and Power, asking it to ensure uninterrupted supply for 16 hours a day.
Textile exports have declined by $1 billion in the first six months (July-December) of the current fiscal year compared to the previous year because of the energy crisis.
“If the government ensures uninterrupted energy supply from now onwards, the industry can still touch the $15 billion mark in the current fiscal year,” an Aptma office-bearer said.
From July to December 2012, textile millers have exported goods worth $6.5 billion and insist they have the potential to ship $1.5 billion worth of products per month in the remaining six months to reach the target of $15 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2013.
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