All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Chairman Muhammad Yasin Siddik has urged the government not to increase load-shedding for the textile industry as it will badly affect production.
The industry has an over 50% share in the country’s total exports and, Siddik reminded, the government that the textile industry is the largest export foreign exchange earner and provides the highest level of employment after the agriculture sector.
“The new load management schedule announced by the SNGPL and Wapda, in which there is 10-hour daily electricity load-shedding and daily gas supply of six hours, is not a workable plan,” said Siddik. “The feasibility of the industry is based on a 24-hour working day and the industry based in Punjab is getting gas and electricity for only fourteen hours.”
He further said the appreciation of Pakistani rupee, hike in the rates of gas and electricity plus the additional 45% hike in gas prices through the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) have rendered the industry uncompetitive in the international markets. “The decision to divert 250 million cubic feet per day of gas to government-owned power plants will increase circular debt as the receivables of the power sector are on the rise. It will also not add anything to the power supply situation due to the massive line losses, theft and leakages, whereas in the power generated by the captive power plants there were zero line losses and theft.”
The Aptma chief said exports of basic textiles in April 2014 declined considerably due to severe load-shedding and rising costs.
He said that market share lost would be impossible to regain. “And we are certain to lose this market share if we are unable to deliver orders on time due to the energy shortage and continuation of the new gas and electricity outage plan.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2014.