LAHORE - All the representatives of textile related industry have threatened the government to go on hunger strike for indefinite period, and even to attempt self-immolation against the 12-hour power loadshedding and gas supply suspension to the industry located in Punjab and NWFP. A joint meeting of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association (PYMA), Sizing Association and Power Looms Association Tuesday announced to make a joint front -Punjab and Frontier Textile Front -to fight against high power tariff, raise in POL prices as well as excessive electricity outages and gas loadshedding being carried out only in Punjab and NWFP, as there is no power or gas loadshedding for industry in South including Karachi, they claimed. They said that the 70 per cent power looms have been closed due to hours-long electricity outages and all machinery is being sold in scarps. They informed the media that 30 per cent spinning mills closed in Punjab and NWFP just due to severe power breakdowns and gas disconnections. They reiterated that only industries in these two provinces endure the loadshedding and as a result of gas loadshedding in winters viability of the textile industry in Punjab and Frontier has totally eroded. The meeting, held at APTMA Punjab office to express concern about the problems being faced by the Punjab textile industry, pointed out that 70 per cent of the countrys textile industry is located in Punjab providing jobs to millions of Punjab workers. However, the current loadshedding of gas and electricity and galloping electricity tariff rates have ruined the textile industry. As a result of gas loadshedding in winters viability of the textile industry in Punjab and Frontier has totally eroded. The meeting asked for provision of uninterrupted gas supply to the textile industry and withdrawal of cross subsidy to rationalize gas tariff for the textile industry. In addition transport charges of inputs and outputs from Karachi to the manufacturing places in Punjab were so high that equilisation assistance by the Punjab government is required to keep the industry competitive, the meeting said. The meeting also noticed that various duties on the import of raw materials like Polyester Staple Fibre which is facing 4.5 per cent customs duty and 10 per cent anti-dumping duty have made the spinning and weaving sectors totally uncompetitive. As a result 30 per cent of the spinning industry and 70 per cent of power looms in Faisalabad and Multan have closed down. The meeting urged zero rating of taxes and levies on export at 3 per cent of the FOB value for yarn and 4.5 per cent for greige fabric. The meeting appealed to the Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif to take notice of the deteriorating competitive position of the Punjab textile industry. The meeting further noticed the high bank interest rates and the treatment being meted out by the banks to the industry. The disability of the textile industry to service its loans is because of the governments failure to provide infrastructure and appealed to the relevant authorities for remedial measures by lowering the interest rates and by allowing moratorium on payments for two years including suitable arrangement for freezing overdue mark up. The meeting decided to seek extension of LTFF Scheme to spinning industry for future investment. The meeting said that various tax measures introduced in the Finance Bill 2009-10 have caused further difficulties for the textile industry and have opened doors for corruption. The meeting underlined the importance of raw material availability for the industry and desired that cotton production should be enhanced to exceed consumption using BT Technology. All man-made fibres including polyester staple fibre should be importable at zero duty.