Pakistan Textile Exporters Association has strongly criticised the ‘injudicious cut’ in gas supply quota for textile industries terming it an attempt to shatter the whole industrial chain.
“It is not the industry only that would massively suffer but the government would also be the ultimate loser on many counts. Government should ensure at least 25 per cent gas supply to textile export sector in Winter under quota regime,” Pakistan Textile Exporters Association Chairman Asghar Ali and Vice Chairman Arif Mahmood Qureshi said on Friday.
They strongly criticised the reduction to 17 per cent of gas supply to textile industry and termed the move as unilateral. Rejecting the reasoning of the gas managers that supply was reduced due to cold weather, they pointed out that weather had not yet touched the critical temperature point.
Gas supply to export oriented textile sector never dropped from 20 per cent in the past, they said, and added that reduction in gas supply would cut down drastically the manufacturing of export goods and exporters would not be able to fulfill their commitments to foreign buyers. They termed energy shortage as the prime cause of economic instability and decline in industrial growth as sizeable textile capacity had been severely impaired and textile exports, both in quantity and value terms had declined across the value chain. “It is very unfortunate that energy shortfall has totally been shifted to the industry,” they said. “Government, on the one hand, is contemplating to increase targets for industrial growth and, on the other, its unjustified decisions are posing severe threats for achieving the said targets.”
PTEA Chairman Asghar Ali was of the view that of the total $13 billion textile exports, Punjab was the major stakeholder with $6 billion share both these numbers, were on the declining trajectory, they said. Referring to the current figures, he pointed out that the country exported goods worth $1.72 billion in October this year against exports of $1.95 billion in same month of the previous fiscal year showing a significant decline of 11.38 per cent.
“Exports are consistently showing declining trend since the start of this fiscal year and export numbers in the coming months might be even worse as the textile industry in Punjab has been deprived of its basic fuel,” the chairman rued. At the moment when the industrial production and exports are registering negative growth and the industrialists are facing severe difficulties, reduction in gas supply would further lead to financial loss, he said.
PTEA called upon the government to take serious cognizance of the matter and to take progressive steps to stabilise the industry. They urged the government to ensure at least 25 per cent gas supply to the textile export sector in the winter.