LAHORE: Hundred textile mills of Punjab have written to the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) to close their units if the federal government fails to address non-viability of the industry and restore its competitiveness.
Aptma will call a conference of stakeholders of the entire textile chain, including value-added sector, this month to evolve a joint protest strategy.
“About 70 textile mills have already closed down in Punjab due to commercial non-viability and complete gas suspension by the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), while another 100 are ready to close businesses,” announced Aptma Punjab Chairman Aamir Fayyaz at a press conference after holding a general body meeting of the association here on Monday.
He said the textile chain was ready for closure as the government had failed to reduce their cost of business especially power tariff, ban imported yarn and fabrics and announce the much-delayed textile bailout package. He hoped the consultation process would be concluded this week and a final decision is expected next week.
The Aptma leader dispelled the impression created by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar that the textile industry’s demands had been met by the government, saying what the government had offered fulfilled the demands having least financial impact.
Fayyaz said millers did not demand any subsidy, but only withdrawal of the unjust surcharge on power tariff “to deny the industry the benefit of low power cost” due to decline in furnace oil rates.
Aptma group leader Gohar Ejaz told reporters it was ironical that the government had yet to appoint a textiles minister as the industry had run from pillar to post for redressal of its grievances.
He said the commerce ministry had also failed to announce trade policy even six months after the announcement of the federal budget. He urged the government to restore gas supply immediately besides tariff rationalisation of electricity.
Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2015