SIALKOT Pakistan Hosiery Manufactures and Exporters Association (North Zone) Vice-Chairman Faisal Mehboob Sheikh said on Friday that the prolonged and unannounced loadshedding of electricity for four to six hours without any break was pushing the knitwear sector towards destruction. He added that not only industrial production was being affected adversely but the international export markets for knitwear were also slipping out of the hands of Pakistan because of outages. Commenting on the recent power crisis and situation, the vice-chairman said that the exports of knitwear and garments had already been suffering from problems due to the high rates of power and gas bills, petroleum products and other necessary articles, which had now further increased. Faisal Mehboob Sheikh said that the export of knitted garments from Pakistan during the first 10 months of fiscal year 2010 2011 accounted US$ 1.929 billion only and in the same period Bangladesh earned more than US$ 14 billion, Vet Nam is going to touch US$ 12 billion this year. In order to ensure a sustainable growth in garments export, we need to put in more efforts, he said. The vice-chairman said that with a view to continuing the exports of knitwear products it was very necessary that the government should help the hosiery manufacturers in reducing the cost of production. He demanded that besides minimising the rates of powers, gas and petroleum, the grant being provided to the research and development should be doubled and extended up to 2016, says a media release.