Aptma seeks regular supply of electricity, gas

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LAHORE: A spokesman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has urged the government to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity to facilitate the textile industry. Additionally, five days a week, uninterrupted gas supply should also be provided to the textile sector in order for it to achieve the export target of $13 billion for the current fiscal year, said the spokesman.

President Asif Zardari had granted an exemption from electricity outages on independent feeders of the sector. This helped spike textile industry growth. However, the caretaker setup withdrew this exemption without prior notice, and in doing so, crippled Punjabís textile industry.

At present, the textile industry is operating short of one shift Ė a change that is affecting 33 percent of 10 million labourers in Punjab.When the exemption was withdrawn, the textile industry was promised that it would be restored within a week. However, the ministry of water and power has yet to fulfill its promise.

Meanwhile, gas supply is also limited due to the decline in domestic demand. Although domestic demand for heating has dropped with the passing of the winter months, the government still hasnít begun supplying gas to textile mills in Punjab, five days a week.

As there is no domestic pressure on the SNGPL network, the government should immediately resume gas supply to the textile industry, which has faced gas shortages for approximately 161 days of the current financial year.

Industry exports had rebounded impressively following the exemption from electricity outages and registered a growth of eight percent until March 2013, which is likely to drop given the negative change in energy supply.

The Aptma spokesman urged Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso to direct the relevant ministries to intervene and ensuring uninterrupted supply of energy, particularly in Punjab, on a war footing basis.

Courtesy: The News

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