LAHORE: Amid the uncertain political scenario with Imran Khan’s PTI and Tahirul Qadri’s PAT threatening to topple the government, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Chairman S M Tanveer called the country’s current crisis more critical than the persistent energy one.
Claiming that the Punjab textile industry has been suffering a daily loss of $30 million, he said it has now become next to impossible to operate businesses. “The world is continuously inquiring us about the political situation,” said Tanveer. “Our shipments are stuck in Karachi and we are losing ground in international market.”
Punjab textile industry has been the victim of the worst energy crisis seen in the country in years. Millers claim to have lost potential local and international market due to the load-shedding issues. Though they managed to earn foreign exchange of $13.7 billion last year, the industry is now idle due to many factors. In the prevailing political situation and chaos, they are not even getting containers to send the shipments to Karachi port.
The industry’s mid-term plan was to touch the figure of $25 billion in five years after the grant of Generalised System of Preferences Plus status from the European Union. “We need consistency to operate and earn foreign exchange for the country. Only tolerance and forbearance can take Pakistan out of its socio-economic issues.
“There was a severe energy shortage during Ramazan before the long Eid holidays kicked in. Now the prevailing political crisis has taken over. The national assets of the country should be protected from destruction and the economic wheel not brought to a halt for even a single moment,” he lamented.
The industry circles are worried over the prevailing political uncertainty and demand an early end. Pakistan has been looking to improve its balance of trade figures, looking to tap in potential markets for an increase in foreign exchange earnings. The GSP Plus status gave the industry a chance to earn more but it requires a sound and stable business environment, opined Tanveer.
The official made it clear that Aptma has no political affiliation with anyone and hoped that sanity prevails and the government digs out options to avoid the unfavourable situations ahead.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2014.