Lahore - More than 15 textile mills have been closed during the last three months after the announcement of federal budget 2015-16, as the mills could not mange to pay high electricity bills. The Prime Minister should hurriedly announce the relief package for export oriented industry otherwise more mills are planning to halt operation, as they are facing huge losses due to high energy cost.

This was stated by the newly-elected All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Punjab chairman Amir Fayyaz during a press conference held on at APTMA House on Saturday.

He said the textile industry was vying for reducing it’s cost of doing business, particularly the cost of energy, which is almost 60 percent higher comparing with the regional competitors. “Electricity to the textile industry in the region is not more than 9 cent per kilowatt hour against 14.5 cent per kilowatt hour in Pakistan at present,” he added.

Aamir Fayyaz hoped that the approval of a timely relief package by the Prime Minister would lead to resurgence of the presently impaired textile industry and reaping the socio-economic benefits for the country through a strong textile industry.

The new APTMA Punjab chairman further said that group leader APTMA, Mr. Gohar Ejaz had presented a facts and figures based view of the textile industry in a highly impressive manner, which was appreciated by all the textile industry associations as well as the government. It was thought that it would all lead to a sustainable textile inclusive of all sections of the textile sector.   

“A billion dollar investment for structural balancing, earning precious foreign exchange to get rid of the lending agencies, employment creation and consequent revenue generation would be the immediate socio-economic benefits of a textile industry on strong footing” he stressed.

He said the operations of Punjab-based textile mills are highly dependent on availability of gas supply during the upcoming winter. This is right time to discuss modalities for the availability of gas to the Punjab-based textile mills before winter, he stressed.

He maintained that only the continuity of textile industry operations can ensure exports and employment in the country. There is an immediate need for revival of the textile industry, as the chance of revival would be zero in case the industry is closed down once, he apprehended.

APTMA Chairman said the textile industry needs a congenial environment to fulfil its international commitments. It is high time for the government to announce textile exports package at the earliest, he said. He urged the government to ensure the availability of electricity and gas to the textile industry on affordable price for competing in the international marketplace.

He said the cost of doing business has escalated 15 percent due to the overvalued Pak rupee and non-transfer of reduction of oil prices. Consequently, around 35 percent textile production capacity has become impaired throughout the Country.