Punjab-based textile industry has been already operating in very difficult times through a combination of electricity and gas, despite serious cost-ineffectiveness due to inordinate tariff rates. Moreover, suspension of power supply over the last two days left the mills with no option but to close down two shifts and lay-off textile workers.
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif to save jobs of hundreds and thousands of Punjab-based textile workers by directing DISCOs to ensure uninterrupted power supply to textile mills.
APTMA Chairman S M Tanveer said that the suspension of power supply has restricted the Punjab-based textile mills to rely upon just six hours a day gas supply on Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited network. Resultantly the majority of Punjab-based textile mills have opted for shutting down two shifts a day instead of continuing 24/7 operations and save jobs of workers.
He said that the industry operations in Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) region, in particular were highly disrupted and majority of mills were unable to meet export orders. Exports of cotton yarn and cotton cloth are on a declining trend since last two quarters. Furthermore, supplies to the textile value chain are also in doldrums, which has led to negative impact on textile exports from Pakistan.
The industry viability will be under threat and revival of industry will be difficult in case of any further delay in the full resumption of power supply on the 24/7 basis. APTMA appealed Nawaz Sharif to issue special directive to ensure uninterrupted power supply to Punjab-based textile mills.
Unfortunately, National Transmission and Distribution Company have failed to obey the clear cut directive and LESCO is exposing Punjab-based textile mills to undue risk by not supplying power to mills. APTMA said that Ministry of Water and Power seemed not to be taking benefit of fast falling oil pricing through full use of existing and presently dormant generation capacity. Otherwise the present electricity demand could easily be met.
The currently power supply challenged faced by the textile mills is extremely serious as it is hampering growth and thus needs immediate attention of the government.
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