APTMA to discuss energy crisis


LAHORE: The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) is holding a crucial meeting on energy crisis with the Federal government on Monday. The meeting is scheduled at a time when gas supply to the industry is already in doldrums ahead of the winter season.
The APTMA delegation, under the leadership of APTMA Central Chairman Gohar Ejaz will meet Federal Minister for Textile Rana Farooq Saeed, Federal Minister for Petroleum Naveed Qamar and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar respectively.
The delegation will apprise both ministers about the existing crisis of gas supply to the industry. Gohar Ejaz stated that the textile industry is being denied of gas supply in accordance with the decision of Energy Summit.
The Energy Summit decided once a week gas load-shedding for the textile industry which meant that the industry was supposed to face gas load-shedding for 24 days. However, it endured a 52 day gas load-shedding during summer season alone, he deplored, adding: “The crucial period of winter was yet to start.”
The Chairman stated that the industry suffered a gas closure for 15 days solely in October despite the fact that winter season was yet to set when gas supply faces low pressure in Punjab.
He added that the industry remained deprived of gas supply for three consecutive days during the first week of November. He said a hurried landing of Federal Petroleum Minister in Lahore during last week has also failed to develop tangible improvement.
He believed that economic contribution of the textile industry was far more than making fertiliser or use in transportation as a direct and indirect workforce of 15 million was attached to the textile throughout the country besides over 60 percent dependency on exports.
He said that the government should give priority to the textile industry in gas distribution in order to add more value to the exports and create jobs within the country.
Gohar said that the APTMA delegation would also call on the Indian High Commission in Islamabad on Monday to protest against the non-registration of Pakistan’s cotton contracts by the Indian government.
He explained that the textile industry was passing through a crucial period of its history and the situation demanded unity among member mills to avail energy ahead of the implementation of the opportunity of market access from the European Union.