FAISALABAD, Jan 19: Entrepreneurs of the textile processing industry vow to operate their units from Jan 22 if the petroleum minister does not provide 25 per cent of the total gas load to the sector as promised by him.

This was announced by All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association Regional Chairman Rizwan Ashraf while addressing a press conference here on Saturday.

He was flanked by office-bearers of the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association, the Council of Loom Owners and other textile and trade associations.

Ashraf said the industry had no business for the last 40 days owing to shortage of gas and electricity. He said Petroleum Minister Dr Asim had promised 25 per cent of the total gas to the textile processing industry, however, he failed to fulfill his commitment. He said despite improvement in weather, supply was not restored to the industry.

He said workers had been facing a severe financial crunch owing to closure of the industry.

The APTPMA chairman said the government had been providing 224MMCF gas to Peshawar while the share of Faisalabad was only 150MMCF. “The situation has left more than two million workers jobless. The industry and its owners are given preferential treatment across the globe while the situation is altogether different in Pakistan, ignoring the fact that the textile sector is fetching forex worth billions of rupees.”

He categorically announced that the industry would resume work on Jan 22 by ignoring all obstacles.

Central executive member of PHMA, Mohammad Amjad, said industrialists were being forced to take to the street and stage demonstrations. He said the industrialists had nothing to do with protests.

PTEA Chairman Asghar Ali and former regional chairman of APTPMA, Aftab Ahmed, also addressed the press conference.

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