October 09, 2014 – Khalid Abbas Saif – BR Report –
The Pakistan Textile Exporters’ Association (PTEA) has rejected the sudden suspension of gas supply to industries on account of annual maintenance of the Qadirpur gas field and termed SNGPL’s move unilateral, arrogant and expressed fear that present curtailment of gas would lead to huge production loss to the textile industry.
Resenting the cut in gas supply, Sohail Pasha, Chairman, and Rizwan Riaz, vice chairman, in a joint statement they said here on Wednesday that textile export consignments worth millions of dollars from upcountry destined for Christmas sales have been hampered resultant upon closure of value addition chain industries due to gas shedding and Eid festival. The industry will suffered huge productivity and supply losses as the manufacturing process will remain halted for almost 13 days on account of Eid festival followed by gas suspension. With such a lengthy break in industrial activity, how could exporters meet the deadline of supplying Christmas sales’ orders? The gas supply was suddenly suspended without taking industrialists into confidence disrupting the industrial process, they said and added the processing sector operates round the clock as textile processing is a continuous process and shutting down the operation causes heavy damages. Gas supply suspension besides affecting exports, is also causing job losses to textile workers, they argued. To fulfill the agenda of economic revival, it is imperative to let the textile industry perform and earn foreign exchange, they said. They thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on taking notice of the gas suspension to industries and “we request him to order the gas authorities to ensure earliest possible gas restoration to industries”.
PTEA Chairman Sohail Pasha said the textile industry was already running below the capacity due to energy constraints, ultimately affecting industry’s potential to grow fast and earn foreign exchange for the country. Suspension of gas supply is hampering production of textiles and halted industrial activities. He warned that the situation arising out of gas outage would lead to missing export orders, capital flight, labour lay-off, worsening of law and order situation and decline in government’s revenue. The government, on the one hand, is contemplating to increase growth targets while on the other its anti-industrial decisions are posing a severe threat to meeting the targets, he said.
PTEA Vice Chairman Rizwan Riaz was of the view that if gas supply to the industry was not ensured, there would be great shortfall in exports of the country. Pinpointing main factors, he said the energy crisis was the major reason impacted the exports negatively. Industries remained in dire straits due to long hours of power cuts and severe gas closures. When industry of any country is not provided with gas and electricity which was basic inputs, how exporters could meet their orders on time, he quipped. Foreign buyers are reluctant to place orders as they feared that the drastic energy shortage would hamper the production and the Pakistani exporters would not be able to timely honour their export commitments.
PTEA leaders urged the government to take all stakeholders into the loop and stop unilateral policies and decisions and address the real and basic issue of energy to put the economy into deep gear. They demanded immediate restoration of gas supply to industries in the region.