LAHORE - The federal government has formed a committee to ensure uninterrupted gas supply to the industry during the upcoming winter season. The committee will devise and streamline the energy security plan for the industry in order to keep production capacities operational during the winter season in country.

The decision regarding formation of the committee was taken in a meeting between PM Ashraf and a delegation of APTMA on Tuesday. All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) top leadership met the Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf at the Governor House Lahore.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf will head the committee which will comprise his advisor on petroleum Dr Asim Hussain, Federal Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Ahsan Bashir, chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association.

The Prime Minister, in the meeting, took three important decisions to materialise the dream of industrialisation in the country. It included the decision to finalise the energy supply management to the textile industry during winter season.

The Prime Minister also took APTMA on board on strategising the way forward on market access to the European Union from 2014 onward with a view of expediting the necessary preparatory steps in this regard. In addition, the Prime Minister also assured the APTMA leadership of measures for encouraging further investment under the textile policy for creating jobs and production of exportable surplus in country.

Chairman APTMA exchanged the issues and problems faced by the textile industry in running smooth operations due to energy constraints. The APTMA delegation made a detailed presentation on the way forward with regard to industrialisation in country.

Chairman APTMA told the Prime Minister that the industry is prepared to undertake further investment to double production, exports and employment provided that it is assured of conducive investment climate, uninterrupted supply of gas and electricity, regionally competitive interest rate and a secure free market access.

It may be noted that the textile industry is mainstay of Pakistan economy, leading employer with 15 million workers across the country and the highest foreign exchange earner of $14 billion. Undue interruptions in energy supply is hampering growth of textile industry, having faced gas curtailment for 184 days in 2011-12 and losing over 30pc production capacities. The uninterrupted electricity and gas supply to the textile industry will go a long way for sustaining the industry and its growth in the larger economic interest of Pakistan.