LAHORE: Textile mill owners of Punjab, while thanking the chief minister for supplying at least some quantity of gas to the industries for two winter months, have asked the provincial government to ensure similar supplies until the start of March, when weather is expected to be less chilly.
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Punjab Chairman SM Tanveer, in a meeting here, announced that a delegation of the association would meet Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Islamabad today (Tuesday).
“The industry will be facilitated in the best national interest. It is the only sector that has the potential to fetch the much-needed foreign exchange,” he said.
He praised the efforts made so far by the Punjab government that helped the industry post an increase of $300 million in exports in December. “It also sent a positive signal to foreign buyers, particularly the European Union importers, who will divert their GSP Plus orders to Pakistan,” he said.
However, he pointed out, a sudden suspension of gas supply would give an impression that the industry would not be able to meet export orders on time.
When the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved gas supplies, though at a reduced rate, for the industry for two months ended February 15, the industry believed that based on the historical data the same volume would be available later when temperature would go up.
However, Tanveer added, cold weather was still persisting and the government would have to arrange supplies from the same source, Rouch Power, from where 85 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) was diverted to run the industry.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2014.
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