The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) and All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) in a joint meeting yesterday decided to put forward their demand to the government for establishing combined industrial wastewater treatment plants at major drains to improve the state of health and safety.
The bodies also suggested devising a road map, according to standards set under the World Trade Organisation regime, and it should be finalised after consultation of all stakeholders.
Briefing the media after the meeting, PTEA Chairman Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood said that the textile sector was already using environment-friendly materials being an export-oriented industry. This, he said, was due to restrictions imposed by foreign buyers, resulting in compliance with international standards.
Wastewater discharged by the industries is properly treated, said Mahmood. However, it is impossible for all the industrial units to establish their individual treatment plants.
Mahmood urged the Punjab Government to come up with a comprehensive strategy to cope with the issue and establish combined industrial water treatment plants at major points.
He said that increasing sewerage rates of industrial units would help bear the installation and running cost of the project. It is the duty of the government to facilitate the private sector as it is the backbone of the economy.
The government should strengthen consultation with the stakeholders on upcoming infrastructure and economy-related issues.
PHMA Chairman Khawaja Amjad said that industrialists have shown their will to supplement government efforts aimed at mitigating industrial problems, which was a good sign. But he showed his disapproval over notices issued to industries by the environment protection department.
Meanwhile, APTPMA Regional Chairman Sheikh Khalid Habib was of the view that the textile industry has been stagnant for the last few years in terms of employment, exports and further investments due to infrastructural impairment on account of different factors.
Export of textiles, which had gone up to $13.8 billion in 2010-11, dropped to $13.06 billion in 2012-13. He urged the government to support textile sector for maximum relief and is looking for surge in textile exports having attained the much needed GSP plus.
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