LAHORE - All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Mohsin Aziz has said that the textile industry has potential to meet shortfall in exports if it gets uninterrupted energy supply.

He said the textile exports have suffered a loss of $1 billion during first nine months of current fiscal against the corresponding period of last year, mainly due to energy crisis and financial constraints especially high interest rates.

He said the textile industry exports have fallen short by 10 per cent in value terms and in fact 30 per cent in quantity terms meaning thereby that the earning per unit of exported items has been higher compared with previous year. The textile exports would have crossed $12 billion in first nine months of current fiscal if production shortfall in quantity terms had not taken place, he added. Therefore, he said, the textile industry efforts are commendable as the loss to the exports in terms of value is not as big as in the terms of quantity.

Only in the month of March, he said, the quantitative exports of cotton cloth have declined by 43 per cent, followed by 33 per cent drop in knitwear, 30 per cent in bed wear, 22 per cent in towel and 35 per cent in readymade garments.

Mohsin said had there not been energy crisis and financial constraints, the textile exports would have been more than $12 billion against $9 billion at present.

Chairman APTMA said that although there is a loss of $1 billion during first nine months of current fiscal in value terms but the textile industry can still work for the remaining period and try to achieve previous years’ benchmark if policy of due weight to textile industry remains intact, as promised by the President.

He said the spinning industry is being hit hard due to drop in exports of value added textile chain as all of these are consumers of yarn. The State Bank of Pakistan should facilitate the textile industry in order to restore its viability, he added.

He said there is a strong potential in textile industry to break the previous highest record of exports during remaining period of current fiscal if government ensures uninterrupted energy supply, both electricity and gas.

The industry has already performed in terms of per unit price, and it can repeat the history subject to redressal of issues, he added.

Mohsin appreciated the efforts of President Asif Ali Zardari, Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain and Textile Minister Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din for ensuring five days a week gas supply to captive power plants of industry and exemption from loadshedding to independent feeders of textile industry. He assured the economic team of the government that the present step taken by the government in increasing the gas supply from four to five days will yield positive results. He urged the government to maintain it and add another day of gas supply so that the lost glory which the industry now feels quite confident can be retained.

He also paid tributes to Chairman Federal Energy Task Gohar Ejaz and his team members for lobbying effectively and presenting APTMA viewpoint forcefully before the concerned quarters to win the case of textile industry on energy front.

He said the textile industry, being the mainstay of economy, major contributor to foreign exchange earnings and creation new jobs, is fully capable to achieve $20 billion exports target if it is guaranteed with uninterrupted supplies of electricity and gas for 24/7 throughout 365 days and its financial problems are appropriately addressed.

Chairman APTMA further expressed the hope that the negotiations on market access with both US and EU can play vital role in shaping up textile industry and Pakistan economy on long terms basis.