LAHORE-Production of more than 100 mills in textile sector has been reduced in Punjab as the industry is operating only in one shift because of severe power breakdowns.

This was stated by APTMA group leader Gohar Ejaz while addressing a press conference along with Senior Vice Chairman APTMA Seth Akbar and Chairman APTMA Punjab S M Tanveer.

Gohar Ejaz said that the mills management is being forced to close down second shift after increase in loadshedding to 10 hours a day. He further said that about 10 million workers are attached with textile industry directly and indirectly and 70% of the industry located in Punjab which is already bearing the brunt of Rs100 billion in terms of inter-provincial disparity on energy tariffs.

He appealed the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif to ensure energy supply, both electricity and gas, to the textile industry in order to avert situation fast leading to massive unemployment.

He said there was zero load shedding for textile industry in 2011 and 2012 when power generation was 12244MW and 10500MW respectively. In 2013 he said, the industry was facing six hours a day load shedding when power generation was 10500MW. However, the industry is forced to face 10 hours a day load shedding today when power generation is 11000MW, he added.

Gohar said the textile industry was getting six days a week gas supply in 2010, five days a week in 2011, five days a week in 2012, three days a week in 2013 which has now further reduced to two and a half days in 2014.

APTMA leader said total demand for gas of the industry was not more than 150MMCFD to generate 1000MW  which can easily be met by the government by according industrlization a priority.

Senior Vice Chairman APTMA Seth Akbar said thousands of textile workers are being jobless and are unhappy with the situation. He said the textile mills are being forced to close down shifts with sudden increase in electricity load shedding from 8 by 10 hours. Earlier, he said, majority of mills were operating on one shift due to eight hours a day loadshedding.

Chairman APTMA Punjab S M Tanveer urged the government to hold five members ministerial committee constituted by the Prime Minister to resolve textile industry issues and let industry to avail opportunities of GSP plus facility by operating to full potential and save millions of direct and indirect workers attached with the industry.

The APTMA leadership apprehended that the viability of the industry will be totally eroded in case the government fails to resolve energy relating matters. There is an urgent need of prioritisation so far as energy supply to the industry is concerned.