Pakistan-Punjab textile sector threatens protests, sit-ins
Textile sector associations have threatened a massive protest campaign and sit-ins from Nov 15 if the proposed plan to suspend gas supply to industry in Punjab is not reversed soon.
Rejecting the four-month long gas closure plan, representatives of textile associations said the industry will continue 33 per cent gas consumption for industrial production, spokesperson for Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) said on Wednesday.
Attended by office-bearers of PTEA, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMEA), All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA), All Pakistan Bedsheets and Upholstery Manufacturers Association (APBUMA), All Pakistan Textile Sizing Association (APTSA) and Loom Owners Association, the meeting termed the proposed closure of gas an industry closure plan.
PTEA Chairman Sohail Pasha said the move would not only deprive the country of billions of dollars in foreign exchange but also cripple trade and industrial activities.
“Millions of workers are in danger of being laid off as a result of drastic fall in industrial production,” he said.
He urged the prime minister and finance minister to intervene and take immediate notice of the matter and fulfill their promises.
Nadeem Allahwala, Senior Vice-President of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that gas curtailment for textile industry would affect production and industrial workforce retrenchment leading to unemployment and unrest.
The government should show political will to keep the industrial wheel moving forward and protect millions of textile workers from joblessness.
Khwaja Amjad, a former chairman of Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (North Zone), said Pakistan is in dire need of new investment to improve infrastructure and economic revival.
Curtailing the gas supply to industry would discourage prospective investors from considering Pakistan for investment, he said.
Sheikh Khalid Habib, a former regional chairman of APTPMA, urged the Punjab chief minister to come forward and resolve the problem.
Naveed Gulzar, regional chairman Aptma, said the textile sector was not only providing livelihood to more than 10 million labourers but also contributing 58pc towards national economy.
“This sector is already under stress for the last many years and further barriers would slow down economic growth,” he said.
Shakil Ansari, Chairman of All Pakistan Textile Sizing Industry, Waheed Khaliq Raamay, chairman of Loom Owners Association, Imran Mahmood, vice-chairman of All Pakistan Bedsheets and Upholstery Manufacturers Association said that Pakistan was in dire need of enhancing exports to provide some cushion to its sagging economy, however, due to such negative factors; exports were suffering right from the beginning of current fiscal year.