LAHORE - All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab has announced defiance of gas load-shedding for textile industry from Monday onwards. In a hurriedly called press conference, APTMA leadership said APTMA member mills would reject gas load management plan in case government fails to supply gas to textile mills in Punjab. Chairman APTMA Punjab Ahsan Bashir said in a press conference that all promises made by the government for restoration of gas supply to textile industry have not been fulfilled. They said government has no idea of massive unemployment in textile industry where daily wagers are already out of jobs and the regular ones are facing a layoff. Ahsan said the industry has failed to understand the priority of government on gas supply. He said gas is being supplied to vehicles and heaters and geysers but nothing for survival of labour of textile industry.
He said APTMA members have lost confidence in the government Gohar Ejaz said there was an assurance of gas restoration some 12 days back but all in vein. “APTMA, after due consideration, has decided to reject load management schedule of SNGPL if no restoration of gas supply is ensured to textile industry by coming Monday,” he said categorically. He said APTMA would also approach the courts. After Monday, he said, the APTMA strategy would be entirely different. He criticised the government for mistreating textile industry. We would not let the load of our mills be suspended if supply is not restored from Monday. It seems that doing business in Pakistan is a sin; he said and added that 40 per cent exports of the industry are down with closure of $6 billion exports capacity in the country. He said APTMA members and textile workers staged a peaceful sit-in outside the SNGPL office, but still the assurance given at that time has not been honoured.
He said APTMA would resume capacities if industry is not accommodated for 3.5 days a week gas supply by coming Monday. He further hoped that the industrial sectors throughout Punjab would support APTMA. He said APTMA would also welcome Dr Asim Hussain as and when he desires to visit APTMA.