All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Chairman Abdul Rahim Nasir on Wednesday urged the government to immediately restore gas supply to the textile industry.
Speaking at a press conference, he claimed that the industry had already suffered losses of nearly $1 billion in exports due to unavailability of gas and subsequent closure of more than 300 textile mills.
Nasir said that 26% surge in export of textiles during fiscal year 2021-22 came in the wake of supply of energy at a regionally competitive tariff.
As a result, the industry performed well with a 60% surge as exports rose from $12.5 billion in 2020 to almost $20 billion in 2022.
The Aptma chairman elaborated that the exponential growth in the textile sector encouraged investment of over $5 billion and the setting up of 100 new textile units, which, when become operational, would be able to fetch more than $500 million per month or $6 billion per annum.
He pointed out that gas supply to the industry had remained suspended since June 30, 2022, which halted the production of value-added products while massive layoffs were made due to large-scale closure of mills.
Furthermore, “it is inexplicable that the export sector, which is committed to uplifting textile exports to $25 billion during 2022-23 and over $2 billion per month, is being denied energy/ gas. Non-stop supply of gas is imperative for the textile industry to maintain the momentum of exports,” he said.
“Textile sector is committed to enhancing exports and proving it is a viable and long-term solution provider for economic stability of the country,” said Aptma North Zone Chairman Hamid Zaman.
More than 50% of output will be lost this month due to risk of losing orders on a permanent basis and diversion of buyers from Pakistan to its competitors, he feared.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2022.