Gas supply: APTMA threatens to start series of protests throughout Punjab – The Express TribuneDecember 12, 2011 No Comments
APTMA says textile industry, which provides income to millions, is suffering due to current power crisis. PHOTO: FILE
LAHORE: In response to the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) failure to provide continuous gas supply to textile industries for four days a week, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) – Punjab Chapter has threatened on Monday to start a series of protests to save the textile industry.
During a general body meeting held at the APTMA house Lahore, all the APTMA chapters unanimously decided to take all possible measures including strikes and road blockages throughout Punjab if the textile sector was not provided with continuous gas supply, as promised by Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain.
Chairman APTMA Punjab Ahsan Bashir and Group Leader APTMA Gohar Ijaz briefed the media after the meeting.
Ijaz said that APTMA will wait till Thursday and if SNGPL still fails to provide continuous supply as promised, the Authority will respond by holding protests.
“The industry is backbone of the country but if the government is in no need of the industry, then we are ready to shut it down,” Ijaz threatened.
Ijaz said that around 80 percent of the textile industries are in Punjab and it employs 15 million people and by neglecting Punjab, the government is neglecting a province that provides food and shelter to millions of people.
Ijaz also said that the industry pays large amounts in taxes to the federal government but instead of returning the favour, some ministers had presented a summery in a cabinet meeting asking for 90 days of gas curtailment in Punjab.
“Such policies are taking the industry towards bankruptcy,” Ijaz added.
Bashir complained that despite Federal Minster’s assurance of uninterrupted gas supply for four days a week, gas pressure was almost at zero for around 70 percent of the textile industries.
“The alternate solutions for energy are much costly and it would increase per unit cost up to Rs25,” Bashir said.
The APTMA Punjab Chairman further said that the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) does not have enough electricity to provide to the industrial sector.
“We fear a 25 percent cut in our export targets due to the present crises,” Bashir added.
Bashir explained that Pakistan’s $14 billion contribution in the $800 billion worldwide cotton market is a very small contribution and that it might experience a decline due to the present crisis.
“The world has many other options [for cotton supply] and might shift to India or Bangladesh,” Bashir said.
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