LAHORE - All Pakistan Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Aamir Fayyaz has demanded a domestically equal and regionally competitive energy price to revive $4 billion closed capacity.

“Unless the government ensures an immediate restoration of the viability, the textile industry would be unable to compete and deliver for the economy,” he stressed. He deplored the government's inaction to control the energy price for the industry, particularly for the Punjab-based textile mills, which is hurting the viability of the industry.

He pointed out the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has announced provisional LNG price at $10.79 per MMBTU, which means the LNG would cost at Rs1080 per MMBTU to the textile units in Punjab as against Rs488 per MMBTU in other provinces.

He recalled that high energy price has already made redundant 35 percent of the existing capacity, predominantly in Punjab and a likely further closure is imminent if energy price is not addressed on priority.

Furthermore, he added, a fresh investment of $7 billion is being envisaged by the industry under a long term vision provided the enablers are well in place.

He said the government should ensure a single gas price of Rs600 per MMBTU across the country, as the existing difference in price for the mills in Punjab versus the rest of the country is unbearable.

Similarly, the availability of electricity should be ensured at Rs7 per kWh without surcharge, which is a regionally competitive energy price.

 He has appealed to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif to ensure single gas price across the country that should also be regionally competitive.

He said the earlier announcement of competitive energy price and other measures taken by the Federal Textile Board should be formalized as a long term policy for the textile industry increase export for narrowing the trade deficit.