LAHORE: After more than a week, gas supply to the textile sector in Punjab was partially restored on Wednesday.

“The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) has informed us that the Punjab textile industry will be getting gas supply from 6pm to 10pm from today,” All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) chairman SM Tanveer told newsmen at a press conference.

“Gas supply to the entire textile industry was suspended on Feb 9 without any reason. The move came right after approval of the Textile Policy 2015 by the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet. We are demanding round-the-clock gas supply for the viability and affordability of the sector,” said Tanveer.

He added that the Punjab chapter of Aptma has called an emergency meeting to finalise future course of action. “The provision of gas is not only for Aptma members alone, every stakeholder in the whole textile chain of the province gets gas when it is supplied,” said Tanveer. The textile sector has been getting 24 hours electricity supply but its per unit cost difference has been more than double, compared to regional rates, he commented.

“The captive power plants generate electricity through gas at Rs8 per unit, whereas per unit cost of electricity in off peak hours is Rs12 and during peak hours up to Rs18.5 per unit. We want to operate our mills on gas during peak hours,” said Tanveer.

The Aptma chairman said that due to energy crisis, imported yarn, huge percentage of which was coming from India, was making inroads to Pakistan and is ruining the local industry.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2015

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