FAISALABAD - The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) on Saturday strongly protested at the injudicious outages of electricity and gas and called for an immediate restoration of gas supply as textile industry was the only hope for the revival of country's economy which is currently jolted by crippling energy crisis. Energy supply disruption is causing a loss of Rs1 billion per day, rendering 70 per cent daily-wagers jobless, said Pakistan Textile Exporters Association Chairman Asghar Ali here.

Expressing serious concern over unprecedented gas and power outages, the PTEA chief pointed out that industry was given gas for five and half day over last 36 days despite assurance given by Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain for 25 per cent gas supply to the industry. Textile industry was denied gas for 77 days in 2008-09, followed by 100 days in 2009-10 and 157 days in 2010-11, he recalled.

This strident increase in number of days for non-availability of gas was limiting capacity utilization, viability and growth of textile industry in Punjab.

He said that 14 to 16 hours daily electricity outage and gas supply cut had affected 50 per cent capacity of the textile industry that has no alternate option to run its operation.

Asghar Ali claimed that they had never witnessed such pathetic situation in history, as energy shortfall had totally been shifted to the industry in Punjab. There is acute energy supply cut and the situation is quite mind-boggling for textile millers, he lamented.

In 14 billion dollars textile exports, Punjab was the major stakeholder with 6 billion dollar share. Prevailing crisis was totally matchless in the history and there was no other demand but to restore energy supply," he stressed.

The PTEA chairman said that textile sector was the backbone of the national economy that needs to be further strengthened by adopting investor-friendly policies and ensuring unremitting energy supply to export-oriented industries.

He called upon the government to take serious steps to endure the industry and focus should also be on the value addition as textile sector needed to enhance quality and production capabilities.

Progress linked to promotion of tech education: Promotion of technical education is the need of the hour to overcome the issue of unemployment and compete with the fast-moving world, said GC University Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Dr Zakir Hussain while addressing a meeting here on Friday.

The meeting held to discuss the ongoing academic programmes and short courses of the varsity.

Management and Administrative Sciences Dean Dr Muhammad Shahbaz Arif, Social Sciences Dean Dr Pervez Azeem, Science and Technology Dean Dr Naureen Aziz Qureshi, HR Director Sheikh Muhammad Akram and other officials were present on the occasion.

He directed the participants to ensure quality education at the campus to move the varsity to the new heights of progress.

He said that the GCUF had launched many skilled development courses including web designing, net frame work, agricultural communication, business communication, video production, baking and preserving of food, textile printing, Interior designing, human development, art and crafts and courses of different languages.

Beside, the university has kicked off one year diploma in Law including Consumer Protection Law, Labour Law, and Environmental Law. Giving details, he said that many associate degree programmes had been kicked off including software technologies, network management, accounting and finance, human resource management, applied psychology, economics and others.