Textile millers decry 10-hour outages

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A worker examines fabric at a textile factory - AP/File
A worker examines fabric at a textile factory - AP/File

LAHORE: The Water and Power Ministry has been adding to myriad of problems already being faced by the Punjab-based textile manufacturers, by cutting electricity supplies to their factories 10 hours a day despite clear-cut instructions from the prime minister to the contrary.

“Textile mills on independent feeders are being hit hard, as these units have been forced to close down two shifts and lay-off a large part of workforce,” said All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Chairman SM Tanveer here on Thursday.

He deplored short sightedness of the Ministry of Water and Power for not facilitating the Punjab-based textile industry. On the other hand, as the European Union has extended the GSP Plus facility to Pakistan’s textile exports, the present energy crunch would not allow any advantage to be reaped in shape of enhanced exports.

Mr Tanveer said both the prime minister and the Punjab chief minister supported continuous operations of the Punjab-based textile mills on the special insistence of Minister of Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi.

“However, it seems that some ministries have adopted hostile attitude towards the Punjab-based mills, leaving them in a lurch and with no option but to close down two shifts due to the inordinate increase in industrial load-shedding,” he said.

He said the textile workers had been highly perturbed and the Aptma leadership was trying to appease them with repeated promises of negotiating with the government for full energy supply soon. He said the supply chain to the value-added textile industry had been seriously disrupted; a situation affecting negatively on the country’s exports.

The Aptma chairman appealed to both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to intervene and take the responsible ones to the task for not supplying the promised energy to the Punjab-based textile industry.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2015

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