FAISALABAD: Textile exporters have expressed their fear that Pakistan could lose export orders worth billions of dollars, stressing that a large number of people will be left unemployed if the government stops gas supply to the industry for three months in the winter.
They asked the government to avoid such a measure, believing that it would cripple trade and industrial activities in the country.
The issue came up for discussion during a meeting between Pakistan Textile Exporters Association Chairman Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood, Khurrianwala Industrial Estate Association Chairman Khurram Iftikhar, All Pakistan Bedsheet and Upholstery Manufacturers Association Vice Chairman Ammar Saeed and others, a statement said on Wednesday.
“Gas is imperative to run the wheels of industry (and) in the absence of the basic fuel, how can the industry function,” the statement said.
The industrialists were looking forward to framing of business-friendly policies by the government for economic revival, but they said such decisions went against the promises to facilitate the growth of trade and industry.
Saying that the country needed investment to improve infrastructure and revive the economy, they pointed out that suspension of gas supply to the industries would discourage prospective investors from considering Pakistan as an investment destination.
The textile industry, which had been under stress for the past few years due to global meltdown and economic slowdown in the country, needed continuous gas and power supply to meet export orders and any disruption would hurt shipments from the country, they argued.
According to the industrialists, the textile industry is providing livelihood to more than 20% of families in the country and also contributing 58% to the national economy.
They sought preferential treatment for the textile industry. Without overcoming these issues, they said, the target for textile exports would be difficult to achieve.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2013.