April 07, 2020: Mr. Zahid Mazhar, appreciated all the positive steps the provincial and federal governments have undertaken to control widespread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and to combat its adverse impact.
In a statement issued to the press Mr. Zahid Mazhar, Chairman – All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, Sindh-Baluchistan Region said that APTMA fully supports the efforts and measures taken by both the Federal and Provincial Governments and assured all cooperation to fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.
He said that due to the drastic slowdown of domestic as well as international markets and delay in receipt of payment from them in addition to the cancellation of export orders even from big organizations and large-scale buying houses, the export-oriented textile industry is facing worst ever liquidity crisis.
He said the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic is having an extremely negative impact on Pakistan’s economy. Mr. Zahid Mazhar said that though the Government has taken some positive steps like deferring loan repayments and speeding up of refunds, it will fall far short of keeping the industry afloat.
He further said that drastic situation needs drastic measures to be taken to save our export-oriented textile industry from the negative economic impact of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) as it is showing an adverse impact on exports. The government has to save lives together with a livelihood.
He demanded the government to provide immediate relief in the best interest of industry, economy and the people as the impact of slowing of economy and lockdown can only be shielded by the industry for a month or two beyond which there will be no capacity to retain workers leading to massive unemployment.
He also emphasized that currently there is an acute shortage of liquidity and it is impossible for the mills to pay the utility bills. He requested the government to come to the rescue and immediately announce the deferment of payment of gas and electricity bills by the industry for a period of at least one month.
He further demanded deferment of payment of interest on short term loans for at least three months. He also pointed out the dire need to immediately bring down the rate of interest to 5 percent.
He requested the Government of Sindh to allow running of those textile mills which have labor residing within their residential colonies as well as those export-oriented units which have export orders in hand.
Chairman – APTMA Sindh-Baluchistan Region said that the present situation needs special attention of the government to address problems of textile industry like the support extended by the government of Bangladesh to its export sector which has taken various measures to meet the shortage of liquidity created due to the consequences of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.