Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association Chairman Abaidullah Sheikh has expressed concern over the declining trend in textile exports and asked the government to take immediate measures to address the shortfall.
“In July 2014, there was a 35% decline in cotton yarn, 8.1% in cotton cloth, 12.6% in art silk, 5.6% in made ups and 14.4% in other textile material,” said Sheikh. “Hence we have witnessed an overall decline of 2.37% this month.”
He added exports in July 2014 were $1.16 billion, while it was $1.19 billion in the corresponding period previous year.
Citing reasons behind this decline, Sheikh said the basic cause was a severe shortfall in supply of electricity and gas to the industry, while law and order situation also played an important role.
“During Ramazan, the government reduced electricity supply to the industry to just four hours a day to facilitate the residential areas,” said the chief. “The government had promised to restore sufficient supply to the industry by the end of Ramazan and review the situation by July 20.
“However, due to the recent political agitation, supply has not been restored.”
He added that resultantly, this shortage will cause severe manufacturing issues as productivity has plunged 50%. Exports orders have seized and foreign buyers and investors are hesitant to do business in Pakistan.
Sheikh expressed apprehension that if the presence state of uncertainty continues, there would be further decline by the end of August. He demanded the government to immediately increase energy supply to textile industry to enable it to maximise its productivity.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2014.
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