lahore - Chairman APTMA Punjab S M Tanveer has said the federal budget, despite carrying a number of incentives and facilities, has failed a detailed plan and strategy to smooth energy supply to the industry in Punjab. He said the Punjab-based textile mills have become unviable and paying Rs82 billion extra in energy charges comparing with mills of other provinces. He was holding a press conference at the APTMA Punjab office. Group leader APTMA Gohar Ejaz was also present on the occasion. The Punjab-based textile mills are vulnerable to the energy crisis and unable to continue with their operations anymore, he added.

He said the APTMA members are pressurising him for closure of mills in case the government was unable to supply gas and electricity.

He said that the FIA has exonerated the APTMA members from the allegation of violation of load shedding schedule and whatever happened was a mere misunderstanding.

He said institutional relief to industry in the month of April and May was only due to improvement in temperature that led to availability of surplus electricity and accordingly supply to the Pepco-fed mills on the LESCO network.

He said the power distribution companies prefer supply to industry on independent feeders because of low line losses and 100% payment of electricity bills.

He said the Federal Textile Minister had restrained him from taking any extreme step until the announcement of budget. We’re waiting for his response, he said and added that there are reports that electricity tariff is likely to increase by another Rs3 ahead, which would be a last nail into the industry’s coffin.