LAHORE - Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain has assured of four days a week uninterrupted gas supply to the textile industry in Punjab during winter, which may further be enhanced to five days a week with entry of 200MMCFD in the system sooner than later. He was talking to the APTMA members at the APTMA Punjab office. The Federal Minister said he has asked the ANV companies (working on exploration of gas) to increase production up to 200MMCFD for three months to meet gas shortage for textile industry during winter. It may be noted that the textile industry in Punjab had strong apprehensions of 90 days gas supply cut during winter. However, the minister dispelled the impression and made clear that the four days a week gas supply would continue uninterrupted, followed by five days a week gas supply accordingly. He said a number of measures including gas infrastructure surcharge, gas theft act, levy on domestic LPG and end of price distortion have been taken to streamline gas supply to the consumers, particularly the textile industry. The federal minister also stated categorically that the CNG stations are proving a burden on industrial growth as they are consuming textile industry gas. According to him, 500MMCFD shale gas would be part of the system within two years in result of further explorations. Dr Asim said he would be in a position to share good news with the nation about new gas finds in Sindh within next 10 days. He said the system was producing 29 trillion MMCFD gas at present, having a potential of 79 trillion MMCFD in future. Earlier, Chairman APTMA Mohsin Aziz highlighted the role of textile industry in Pakistan economy in his welcome address. He said Punjab was the house of 60% of the textile industry and any gas curtailment would end up on joblessness, followed by socio-economic problems. Rana Arif Tauseef from Pakistan Textile Exports Association proposed the minister for gas supply to processing units on quota basis to run generators on gas. He said the processors would shift boilers to alternate fuel during winter gas load management plan. Group leader APTMA Gohar Ejaz urged the APTMA members to give a standing ovation to the federal minister. He said the industry was looking at the government with a big hope to keep its operations intact during next three months.