Still in business: 3m textile workers to remain employed in winter, says APTMA

Punjab’s textile industry will receive 100 mmcfd of gas in next three months.

Our Correspondent December 18, 2013
APTMA Punjab Chairman said uninterrupted gas supply would help increase textile exports by $1 billion every month. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Some three million textile workers will continue to work during the next three months due to the federal government’s decision to supply 100 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) to the textile industry in Punjab, said All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Punjab Chairman S M Tanveer.

In previous years, the Punjab-based textile industry would have had no option but to lay off workers during three months of winter due to suspension of gas supply, he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Praising the decision of the federal government, Tanveer said each and every worker of the textile industry was acknowledging the support given by the prime minister and the chief minister of Punjab.

The government has decided to divert 85 mmcfd of gas to industrial units from independent power producers (IPP) in order to enable the textile industry to capitalise on the advantages from the recently granted GSP Plus status by the European Union.

According to Aptma, they already have reduced their demand to 100 mmcfd to allow other industries to have a share in the gas quota.

He said the Aptma leadership has held detailed meetings with Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) to chalk out a strategy for gas supply to the textile mills in the next 90 days.

Tanveer said uninterrupted gas supply would help increase textile exports by $1 billion every month. This huge inflow of foreign exchange would stabilise the Pakistani rupee in line with the announcement of Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, he said.

Tanveer appreciated the efforts made by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in putting forward the case of Punjab-based textile industry to the federal government.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2013.

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