July 06, 2022: Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Mr. Abdul Rahim Nasir has urged the Federal government to restore gas supply to the textile industry on an urgent basis, stressing that a loss of almost $1 billion in exports has already taken place due to nonavailability of gas and closure of more than 300 textile mills.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday at APTMA House, Lahore along with Chairman APTMA North Mr. Hamid Zaman, Senior Vice Chairman Kamran Arshad, and Secretary-General Mr. Raza Baqir, Rahim Nasir said that a 26% upsurge in the export of textiles during the fiscal year 2021-22 was made possible only due to supply of energy at regionally competitive tariff. He added that the textile industry showed exemplary performance in uplifting textile exports from $ 12.5 Billion in 2020 to almost $ 20 Billion in 2022 registering a 60% hike in exports.
Rahim said exponential growth in the textile sector has promoted investment of over $5 billion and the establishment of 100 new textile units which when become operational would result in fetching additional export of more than $500 million per month or $6 billion per annum.
He pointed out that gas supply to the industry has been suspended since June 30, 2022, which has almost halted production in the whole value-added textile industry causing colossal loss to the economy. He added large-scale closure of mills has resulted in massive layoffs and unemployment spreading economic chaos.
Mr. Rahim Nasir further said that it is inexplicable that the exporting sector, which was committed to uplift textile exports to $ 25 billion during 2022-23 and over $2 billion per month, is being denied energy/gas. He said that the incessant supply of gas was imperative for the textile industry to maintain the momentum of export.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman APTMA North Mr. Hamid Zaman said that the textile sector has repeatedly delivered its commitment to enhancing exports and proven that they are a viable and long-term solution provider for the economic stability of the country.
He observed that more than 50% of output will be lost this month with the very high risk of losing orders on a permanent basis and diversion of buyers from Pakistan to its competitors.
Hamid Zaman continued that currently textile industry was providing goods for the forthcoming Christmas and any delay in delivery schedule is fraught with risks of losing export markets for an indefinite period with little chances for revival.
“If this momentum is lost due to energy supply and cost constraints, Pakistan will be forced to seek an additional $6 billion in loans from abroad, which under the circumstances may not even be possible,” he stated.
Kamran Arshad, Senior Vice Chairman stated that if the present opportunity of exports is lost due to the non-supply of gas, Pakistan would be forced to adopt heavy borrowing which is not at all feasible due to the current scenario.