LAHORE: Reacting to the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) notice regarding disconnection of gas supply to textile mills any time, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab has warned if gas supply to the mills was stopped, there would be massive unemployment in the province.
Addressing a press conference, the APTMA chairman said gas supply to the textile mills in Punjab was 25% in November, which reduced to 17% in last week of November and now they have issued a letter of zero gas supply.
“Actual gas consumption of Punjab based textile industry is equal to 60 MMCFD, which is 5% of 1,200 MMCFD,” he said and posed a question: “Do we not deserve even 5% of gas supply?”
“How textile workers would run their kitchens without jobs?” he further asked and added that already 200,000 textile workers have lost jobs in last five years.
He also criticized the government for 40% reduction in cotton crop, saying that there was no proper research, which has resulted into supply of substandard seed to farmers.
“The government has blamed the weather for crop failure instead of conceding its failure,” he deplored and stated that APTMA was paying Rs 700 million annually for research on cottonseed, which is of no use.
He said some 40 mills have already been closed down during last four months but the promises made by both the prime minister and finance minister have not seen the daylight yet. He said the government has imposed Rs 40 billion new taxes on the IMF instruction against a loan of $500 million while the textile industry has lost $800 million exports on the other hand.
He condemned the government’s apathy and said that the member mills have lost hope altogether and are ready to sell out their units to property developers or converting then into warehouses.