LAHORE - Textile industry associations will hold a roundtable conference on one point agenda of availability of electricity and gas at regionally competitive price without intra province disparity, said All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab Chairman Syed Ali Ahsan.

Addressing a press conference, he said the roundtable conference will be held by the end of this week. He further announced to defer December 6 black day protest after an assurance by the Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif of taking up the industry issues with the prime minister and get them resolved.

He said a delegation of all textile industry associations would also call on the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Dec 6 to apprise him of the industry problems.

The decisions were taken in a meeting of leading textile industry associations at the APTMA Punjab office on Monday. Representatives from All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association, Pakistan Textile Exporters Association, Council of Powerlooms and other value added industry associations attended the meeting.

Syed Ali Ahsan said 70 percent of spinning, 55 percent of weaving and 60 percent of processing industry is located in the province of Punjab, which has become unviable due to the high cost of doing business.

Eventually, he added, 35 percent capacity of the industry has been closed down because of the fact that the cost of doing business in Punjab has jacked up by 10 percent against the industry located in other provinces.

He further stated that the production cost of industry, relying either on WAPDA or RLNG-fed energy, has been equalised and the Punjab-based textile industry is missing a level playing field badly in the region.

“Exports of both yarn and fabric have dropped by 30 percent and 35 percent respectively in quantitative terms against already achieved highest level of exports,” he added.

Chairman APTMA Punjab expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister Punjab for extending a patient hearing to the APTMA Punjab delegation and assured of resolving the industry issues without delay.

“APTMA Punjab has decided to defer December 6 black day after an assurance from the Chief Minister Punjab,” he said and added that he was fully hopeful that the industry issues would be  resolved with the intervention of CM Punjab.

He has urged the government to announce a textile package without delay.