LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has given the industry a call to defy the ongoing, indefinite gas curtailment for the industrial sector in Punjab unless the supplies are restored by Monday.
'We are left with no option but to defy the gas load management schedule of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) that suspended the fuel's supply to the industry for an indefinite period,' Ahsan Bashir, chairman of Aptma-Punjab, told a news conference on Thursday.
He said the textile industry would start its operations on gas from Monday in violation of the SNGPL notice unless its demand was met.
'We have been avoiding confrontation because we believe in dialogue and wanted to resolve the issue through talks with the authorities.1t is not our job to stage demonstrations. Our job is to run the factories and create jobs. But the government has failed to honour repeated commitments given by the petroleum minister,' he said.
Petroleum Minister Asim Hussain, who was due to arrive here on Friday (today) for talks on the energy crisis facing the textile industry, is reported to delayed his visit because of his other engagements.
Ahsan questioned the government's priority in distribution of gas shortages of 1,100 mmcfd in Punjab between different sectors, saying the policy of giving preference to the domestic consumers and CNG sector had led to industrial closures and job losses.
According to him, Pakistan's exports had already come down by 40 per cent in terms of quantity and trade deficit enlarged to $12 billion.
The SNGPL cut gas supplies to the entire industry in the province for an indefinite period after domestic demand soared on falling temperatures resulting in a shortfall of over 1,100 mmcfd. The utility says the domestic sector was on the top of its priority while distributing gas available in the system.
Ahsan said the Aptma leadership had been talking to the SNGPL authorities and the petroleum minister, who had promised to provide gas to the industry two days a week about couple two weeks ago for restoration of supplies.