Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of a special committee constituted by the prime minister to look into the issues regarding gas supply to textile units in Punjab on Tuesday.
Ministers for Petroleum and Natural Resources (P&NR) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Minister for Textile Industries Abbas Khan Afridi attended the meeting.
Kh Asif said that the government was prepared to ensure non-stop power supply to the textile units barring the short lean period which would help them sustain production. Minister Khaqan Abbasi opined that it was a stark reality that there was shortage of gas for even domestic consumers and it would be doubly difficult to supply gas to textile units under the circumstances.
Representatives of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) and other textile related units apprised the finance minister that gas was needed for all the value-addition processes which were the major part of textile production. The use of electricity was mainly focused on initial phase of spinning and some other minor routines, they added. Minister Ishaq Dar at this juncture added that the committee had to find a way out of this stalemate. The minister also invited the APTMA and other representatives to make their own suggestions.
The future course of action to settle this issue will be discussed in next meeting of the committee. Meanwhile, the finance minister asked relevant authorities to maintain the supply of gas to textile units until a solution was arrived at in due course.
It may be recalled that taking cognizance of the problems faced by the textile units in Punjab due to shortage of gas, Ishaq Dar with the approval of the prime minister issued instructions through Ministry of P&NR for suspension of gas load management plan earlier last week. Consequently, the prime minister constituted a committed headed by Senator Ishaq Dar to resolve the issue.