LAHORE - The SNGPL has reversed its gas management plan to provide smooth gas supply to Captive Power Plants of the large scaled textile spinning industry over its protest threat amidst severe electricity domestic loadshedding in Punjab.

Chairman APTMA Punjab S M Tanveer said that the Federal Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources has saved one million jobs of the Punjab-based textile industry by revising gas supply schedule to 8PM to 2AM during the Holy month of Ramadan. He said the APTMA delegation, led by the group leader Gohar Ejaz, had called on the Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources in follow up of an emergent general body meeting of APTMA Punjab against the gas supply schedule of 9AM to 3PM.

He said the response of the government functionaries was encouraging, as they understood the viewpoint of APTMA leadership and changed the gas supply schedule to 8:00 P.M. – 2:00 A.M. daily for the textile industry Captive Power/Processing use during Ramadan. It was agreed during the meeting that the SNGPL will upload the revised gas load management schedule on its website accordingly, he added.

S M Tanveer said the APTMA delegation told the federal Minister that it was unfair to lay off a large number of textile workers during Ramadan simply because of the change in gas supply schedule. The delegation further pointed out that gas supply during the day hours, in the presence of electricity supply, was useless.

He said the closure of mills was also detrimental to the exports of the country, especially when Pakistan was making sincere efforts to realise full potential of the market access facility from the EU.

Chairman APTMA Punjab said decision of the Federal Petroleum Minister has avoided closing down of two shifts at the mills and the revised gas supply schedule will enable the mills to continue operations for 20 hours a day in combination with the electricity supply.

According to him, the affordability and availability of energy, both electricity and gas, has become a major problem for the Punjab-based textile mills as the industry cannot afford to pay additional Rs80 billion on account of energy differential with other provinces.

Already, he said, a good number of textile mills on independent feeders have been closed and another 56 mills are on the verge of it due to the electricity load shedding. We do hope that the Ministry for Water & Power will exempt the prime users from electricity load shedding in the larger interest of textile workers and textile exports, he added.