— Dawn
— Dawn

FAISALABAD: Scrap dealers seem to be earning handsome amount these days by purchasing powerlooms at throwaway prices as the weaving unit owners are unable to run their factories due to exorbitant cost of production, volatile yarn price and high rates of electricity.

The actual price of a four-loom set is said to be Rs600,000 which has plummeted to Rs150,000. Even customers are not ready to buy at this rate.

Finding no customers, the scrap dealers have started dismantling powerlooms and selling their spare parts at Rs65 per kilo and rates have been displayed outside the godowns to attract customers.

Mohammad Ramzan, a scrap dealer of Ghulam Mohammadabad, told Dawn that taking advantage of the slump in the textile business, the brokers dealing with the [powerloom] scrap were frequenting the areas where hundreds of looms had been installed.

He said: “We are purchasing powerlooms of various categories against Rs 45 per kg. Powerloom owners looking for parts want to buy [spares] at Rs50 per kg. Weavers having more than 100 units are able to survive and the rest are trying to shift to other business by selling the machines at reasonable rates.

However, reasonable rates are not possible because a large number of factories are closed due to ‘indifferent’ attitude of the government.”

On Tuesday, six people were found searching for parts from the looms dismantled at Ramzan’s godown.

A broker requesting anonymity told this correspondent that factory owners were facing loss worth millions of rupees by selling the machinery at throwaway price.

“India, Bangladesh and China are exploring new markets to sell their products, however, the entrepreneurs in Pakistan are struggling for survival,” said Ismail, a textile exporter.

“We had been trying for years to persuade the government to focus on the issues of textile sector but to no avail,” he said.

Ismail said governments across the world had been extending a helping hand to industrialists to strengthen the national economy, but here in Pakistan the situation was altogether different.

“Workers and the factory owners are facing a financial crunch here. Owners are surviving somehow or the other, the condition of workers is pathetic that can be improved by focusing on resolving the issues of textile sector,” said Naeem Ahmed, a powerloom owner, who visited a junkyard in Ghulam Mohammadabad to find some tools.

He said he had never seen such a poor condition of textile business for three decades.

“Nobody is ready to purchase our fabric. People attached with the textile sector are in a fix; neither the yarn merchants nor brokers are earning,” said Zahid Munna, a yarn broker.

He said yarn prices had been unpredictable for a couple of years.

The spinners managed to convince the government for duty on yarn which was a good sign for the people attached with the yarn trade.

However, the imposition of duty alarmed the weaving unit owners.

“Now both sides - yarn dealers and weavers - are struggling for survival,” Mr Munna said.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2017

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