FAISALABAD - The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association strongly protested against up to 90 percent low-pressure gas supply to the Faisalabad industry, saying that it was severely affecting industrial production.

Talking to the media, PTEA Chairman Asghar Ali said that industrial units in Faisalabad were confronted with extremely low gas pressure which was severely affecting their production output and they were unable to operate and keep over a million jobs. He said that gas supply to industries in the Punjab was restored on Monday for two days after nine week suspension with exceptionally low pressure and sometimes it reached to the vicinity of zero percent causing heavy operational losses.

A many industrial clusters in Faisalabad were almost out of order, he said and complained that low gas pressure had crippled the industry. He said that gas authorities must tackle the situation. Especially textile exporters were facing a lot of problems because they were not able to produce and export textile products at the given time frame, he said and added that industrialists were risking everything to keep the wheel of economy running.

However, he observed, the government was not paying heed to their problems. It is causing the textile sector to incur a loss of one billion rupees every day in export revenues and value addition in the region, he said.

He further proposed to supply gas to CNG and industrial sectors on alternate days to cater the low pressure problem, saying that the government should get in touch with all stakeholders to preserve the industry and to formulate a strong strategy for the future. He demanded increase in gas supply to industries at least four days a week. Asghar welcomed the new development on Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline Project and expressed the hope that timely completion of the project would rescue the industry from the crisis and help to overcome energy crisis in Pakistan. Work on the project needs to be accelerated on an emergency basis, he added.

Muhammad Asif, the vice chairman, said that industrialists were playing a vital role in escalation of the economy. He recommended the government take urgent remedial measures to end the woes of industry and unemployment. He said that government could manage gas shortfall by supplying it across the board without discrimination. The PTEA office-bearers urged the authorities to ensure optimum supply of gas to industry with full pressure to enable the exporters to fulfill their commitments with foreign buyers, failing which the country would lose not only foreign exchange but also export markets which will be captured by rival countries.