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Textile industry fears export losses

A Pakistani man prepares threads at a textile factory in Gujrat
A Pakistani man prepares threads at a textile factory in Gujrat

LAHORE, Dec 11: Punjab’s textile industry fears huge export losses due to ongoing strike of goods carriers.

“We fear cancellation of foreign orders due to transporters strike,” said Asghar Ali, chairman, Faisalabad-based Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA).

About 10,000 containers have been held up due to the strike, he said.

PTEA vice-chairman Mohammad Asif said that if strike persists, it would lead to losses to exporters and cancellation of orders.

The strike has crippled textile exports and a large number of export shipments ready to be shipped could not reach the port in time. These consignments would have to be airlifted to meet the deadline by importers at a huge cost to exporters, he added.All-Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) chairman Ahsan Bashir said that thousands of containers of goods meant for export are lying stranded as a result of the strike by transporters.

“The textile industry is export-oriented industry and the textile exports have been held up. Consequently, the industry is unable to procure raw materials as the supply chain of the textile industry is highly under pressure,” he said in a statement.He also demanded that the customs should waive off demurrage on containers stranded at the port.

The PTEA also rejected new gas load management schedule which is likely to further burden exports.

Reacting to the SNGPL’s new schedule of four-and-a-half day load-shedding for Faisalabad region, Asghar said they had been repeatedly demanding curtailment of gas for the textile industry.

He termed half a day extra gas curtailment to Faisalabad industry compared to four days for the Lahore region as unjust and discriminatory.

“The government needs to show a political will to keep the textile industry moving forward and protect thousands of textile workers from losing jobs,” he said.

Faisalabad is the hub of textiles with largest conglomeration of power looms, hosiery, knitwear, printing, other ancillary and value-added units and $4 billion export in the country,” he said.

He demanded equal distribution of gas among all regions and opposed forced power cuts to industrial units.