LAHORE - The Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited has supplied gas to industry only for three days during last December while gas supply in current month has totally been disconnected to textile sector.

The government is not fulfilling its commitment of 16-hour power supply to the industry for running two shifts, as just 12-hour electricity supply is being given to mills.

This was stated by the central chairman of the APTMA Ahsan Bashir and Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan while talking to journalists on Saturday.

“There is zero supply of gas to the textile mills on the SNGPL network and the industry got gas merely for three days in between 1st December to 20th December 2012 after which there is a complete shutdown of gas supply to textile mills in Punjab.

Central Chairman APTMA Ahsan Bashir said that gas supply to the textile industry in Punjab is already in limbo; resulting into over 30pc capacity closure, lay off the workforce and cancellation of export orders. The role of Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum & Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain in adverse circumstances is highly appreciable. It is responsibility of every government to react immediately and act prudently whenever there is a crisis like situation for any sector of the industry in country. Dr Asim Hussain has taken steps to resolve energy crisis of textile industry in Punjab in a prudent, fair and transparent manner. An appropriate gas load management policy devised by Dr Asim Hussain has helped the industry floating even in the challenging period it is passing through.

Shahzad Ali Khan said there is no comparison between the textile industry and the CNG pumps, as textile industry earns $14 billion and provides jobs to 45pc of the total manufacturing sector workforce while consuming less gas comparing with the CNG pumps. Also, the total employment of 3200 CNG pumps in the country may be equivalent to the strength of a single textile unit. It is also an open secret that the CNG Association has usurped the precious energy resources of the province of Punjab and contributed to creating circular debt of Rs 700 billion. He said total demand of textile industry is not more than 500MMCFD out of 4000MMCFD gas totally available in the country, which is 12.5pc. According to him, Dr Asim Hussain had announced gas supply for six hours a day to mitigate the impact of electricity load shedding in Punjab. However, this announcement could not be materialised due to complete suspension of electricity to textile mills in Punjab. According to APTMA leadership, the textile industry in Punjab has witnessed historical blackout of electricity supply from 22nd December to 1st of January 2013. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and his key Cabinet members took notice of the situation and directed for 16-hour a day uninterrupted power supply to textile mills in Punjab. Unfortunately, this decision has not been implemented in true letter and spirit and there is yet three hours unscheduled load shedding besides eight hours a day scheduled loadshedding for industry in Punjab.