LAHORE: A summary to provide uninterrupted gas supply throughout the week to Punjab-based textile industry has been forwarded to the cabinet for approval, Federal Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi said on Saturday.

“A decision in this regard is likely soon,” the minister told newsmen after a meeting with the office-bearers of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma).

The government was contemplating on making closed textile units operational to utilise their production capacity. “We continued providing gas to the textile sector in winter and there had been 15 per cent increase in the textile exports during the last three months or so. The sector registered an 8pc increase in exports during the last three years,” he said. The textile sector had not been taken care of in the past though it had been contributing 45pc to the total exports and providing jobs to 40pc of the country’s workforce.

The textile industry required energy on priority basis as the sector has not been achieving but surpassing export targets for the last three years, Mr Afridi said, assuring Aptma officials that he would take up with the prime minister issues confronting the sector, especially the energy shortage.

During the last decade or so, no attention was paid to increase per acre production of cotton, he said, adding that efforts were now under way in this regard.

A plan has also been devised to increase the share of value-added products in textile exports to earn more foreign exchange, he added. “We don’t need to focus on export of yarn and grey fabric only. We have to go beyond it.”

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