MULTAN-All Pakistan Powerlooms Association (APPLA) threatened on Thursday to shut down their business and sell out machinery in scrap if the government does not announce a bailout package for Powerloom Industry, pattern one the one announced for textile Industry.

Addressing a crowded press conference here today APPLA Central President Khaliq Qandeel Ansari, General Secretary Saeed Ahmed Saeedi, Haji Bashir Ahmed Ansari and others pointed out that 70 percent powerlooms have so far been shut down due to expensive electricity and unafforable prices of yarn.

They demanded separate power tariff for powerloom industry, which, they said, should not be more than Rs6/unit, Locally manufactured machinery and local labour be adjusted under CPEC project to reduce the unemployment and New Textile policy be introduced with the consent of all stakeholders of cotton.

He said that banners inscribed with their demands would be displayed on March 11 across the country and a national convention would be organised in Kasur in which a deadline would be announced for acceptance of their demands .He said that powerlooms owners were selling their machinery in scrape. Khaliq Qandeel Ansari stressed the need for exploring new markets to sell Pakistan textile products because old buyers have gone to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and Taiwan due to energy crisis as we failed to meet their demands on time. They alleged that policies of present regime have put the last nail in the powerlooms coffin. He said that spinning sector had destroyed the value added industry of Pakistan by exporting maximum cotton yarn to the competitors. He stressed the need for taking measure to reduce the cost of production to make the trade viable and crackdown on the smugglers of foreign clothes.

Punjab empowering widows

Punjab Minister for Livestock and Dairy Development Asif Saeed Manais has said that the Punjab Government has launched a revolutionary scheme to uplift the financial condition of widows in rural areas under which animals will be distributed among them.

He observed this while addressing a ceremony to distribute animals among widows of Multan here on Thursday. He said that the programme would make the widows and orphans self-reliant and they would not remain dependant on anyone. He disclosed that 700 widows of Multan would be given buffaloes and cows in first phase. He said that another motive behind launching this programme was to revive livestock culture in the rural areas. He said that the vaccination of livestock and other arrangements for their look after would also be made by the Punjab Government while cash through insurance would also be given to the women against their livestock. He disclosed that the livestock department would make a three-year agreement with the women and they would not be allowed to sell out these animals before three year period.

He further revealed that the Punjab Government was giving Rs5,000 per bird subsidy to the persons breeding at least 25 ostriches. He said that the programme had been launched to promote culture for healthy meat consumption. He further revealed that the livestock and veterinary science departments had signed an agreement for promoting healthy meat.