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Restore gas supply to fulfill export orders: APTMA

Gas supply to industry has been terminated since June 30, 2022, thus halting output in the whole value-added textile industry, resulting in massive economic losses

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Prevailing economic conditions have affected the country at micro as well as macro level.  400 textile mills are facing shutdown which have seriously affected export order as well. Textile and clothing exports account for over 61 percent of Pakistan’s total exports and the industry provides direct employment for about 40 percent of the country’s total industrial workforce.

In this regard, Abdul Rahim Nasir, Chairman of the All-Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), has urged the federal government to restore gas supply to the textile industry at earliest, citing a loss of nearly $1 billion in exports as a result of the lack of gas.

Read more: Textile sector’s gas suspension to cause $1B loss: APTMA

He added that the 26 percent increase in textile exports during fiscal year 2021-22 was only possible due to the supply of energy at regionally competitive tariffs. Moreover, the textile industry showed commendable performance, increasing textile exports from $12.5 billion in 2020 to nearly $20 billion in 2022, a 60% increase in exports.

According to Rahim, the textile sector’s exponential growth has encouraged over $5 billion in investment and the establishment of 100 new textile units, which when operational will result in additional exports of more than $500 million per month, or $6 billion per year.

He stated that gas supply to industry has been terminated since June 30, 2022, thus halting output in the whole value-added textile industry, resulting in massive economic losses. He said that large-scale shutdown of mills has resulted in significant layoffs and unemployment, spreading economic turmoil.

Rahim Nasir went on to say that it is inexplicable that the exporting sector, which was determined to increase textile exports to $25 billion in 2022-23 and more than $2 billion per month, is being denied energy/gas. He stated that an uninterrupted supply of gas was critical for the textile industry to continue its export momentum.

Addressing the gathering, Chairman APTMA North Hamid Zaman stated that the textile sector has constantly demonstrated its commitment to increasing exports and demonstrating that it is a viable and long-term solution provider for the country’s economic stability.

According to his observation, that more than half of output will be lost this month, with a very high probability of permanent loss of orders and buyer diversion from Pakistan to competitors. Zaman continued to say that the textile industry is now supplying goods for the upcoming Christmas, and any delays in delivery schedules risk losing export markets for an indefinite period with little possibility of resuscitation.

He concluded by saying that under these conditions, gas supplies to export-oriented industries may be restored promptly. On 1st July 2022, A letter was also sent to the Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif from APTMA explaining all of these major concerns and underscoring the need to restore gas supplies.