Textile exporters lash out at 4-day gas suspension in Punjab | Pakistan Today

Textile exporters lash out at 4-day gas suspension in Punjab

Textile exporters strongly reacted to the SNGPL decision ordering four days per week of gas suspension to industry in Punjab. This arbitrary shutdown is severely disturbing the productivity of industrial units and default export shipment schedule of textile exporters said Asghar Ali, chairman and Muhammad Asif, vice chairman of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) on Wednesday.
Ali, talking to reporters said PTEA had already pointed out to the government to reset its priorities since its casual approach towards energy supply was not only creating a law and order situation in the province but also jacked up the graph of unemployment while export orders are fast shifting to neighboring countries. “The rise in number of unemployed would definitely give air to anti-government sentiments and this single step would throw millions of industrial workers out of jobs,” he stated.
“It is not the industry only that would be suffering massively but the government would also be an ultimate loser on many counts.” According to Asghar Ali, demand for natural gas in the country has been increasing around 10% annually for the last many years and the demand-supply gap may widen from 1,216 million cubic feet per day in 2011-12 to 2,092 mmcfd in 2015-16. Even gas import from Iran would not suffice and full attention should be paid to finding fresh gas reserves in the country, he stressed. Ali said, the “discriminatory attitude” of the government was not only denting its goodwill and reputation but had also put a question mark on its ability to manage and govern. He said units in Sindh were getting an almost uninterrupted supply except two to three hours of load shedding.
Pointing out that gas suspension was killing the export-based industry and its productivity, the PTEA chairman sought the premier’s intervention and help for regular supply of gas to industry in Punjab.
“How would the industry be able to manage export orders worth millions of dollars when there is no gas? What about the thousands of daily wagers who have only one source of income? And above all, how would the government convince both the local and foreign investors for investment when it is unable to manage the supply of gas to existing industrial units,” he said.
He further said the decision sent a negative signal to foreign buyers. “Instead of coming up with some sort of relief package, the industry is being pushed to the wall. Gas suspension for four days per week is tantamount to throttling the industry to death.”

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