Major issues remain unaddressed in new textile policy

LAHORE - Following the announcement of new textile policy 2014-19, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association chairman S M Tanveer has demanded availability of electricity at 8 cents per unit for viability of textile industry in Pakistan.
Chairman APTMA was holding a press conference at the APTMA Punjab office. He said affordability has become real issue today, as the Punjab-based textile industry, which is 70 per cent of the total in country, is operating at a cost differential of $1 billion compared with other provinces. How can we compete with regional competitors when Punjab-based textile industry cannot compete with mills in other provinces, he posed a question. S M Tanveer said how the industry can celebrate announcement of textile policy that speaks about uninterrupted energy supply but the irony of situation can be judged from the fact that the SNGPL suspended gas supply on the same day.
According to him, taking the textile exports to $26 billion in next five years would remain a dream in case the energy supply remained situation dismal, particularly in Punjab. It would be a miracle to sustain the present level of $13 billion under the prevalent energy supply situation, he added.
He wondered how the SNGPL ensured gas supply to the Punjab-based textile industry during peak winter, as it has withdrawn gas supply when demand for space heating has come to an end. Already, he said, the SNGPL restricted gas supply to four and half hours a day against the PM directive of eight hours a day gas supply during last sixty days.
He said India was extending rebates and other facilities to its industry for mitigating the impact of GSP plus to Pakistan.
He said he was unable to understand why the government was not serious in sustainable growth of textile industry, particularly in Punjab. He said the value added industry has secured substantial export orders from the Heimtextile exhibition but they have no idea whether to meet the deadlines under given circumstances. On the other hand, he said, India has started dumping fine count yarn to Pakistani market, threatening the viability of some 30 mills producing fine count cotton yarn. He said the government should not make mockery of the textile industry and behave seriously in dealing with its energy issues. The government should decide whether it was serious in continuation of textile industry in Pakistan. The government should inform us once and for all instead of switching on and switching off supplies time and again, he added.
According to him, the industry was not clear about its costing due to the prevalent uncertainty. On top of that, he said, the government has imposed regulatory duty on furnace oil with drop in its price internationally. Not only this, the government has also imposed duty on import of furnace-based engines to make situation more difficult for industry, he added.

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