LAHORE - All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Chairman Tariq Mehmood has said that textile industry in the country is suffering a loss of around Rs 2 billion annually due to eight-hour electricity loadshedding and gas supply disconnection to the industrial units. Addressing a press conference here at APTMA office Mr Tariq observed that textile industry is being subjected to four to eight hours electricity loadshedding daily. He said that winter has not even set in but gas-fuelled industry has been facing closure for nearly 21 on account of gas disconnections. APTMA Chairman disclosed that 30 per cent industry has been shut due to energy crisis in the country and same is the case with unemployment as 30 per cent workers have to lose jobs in the wake of this crisis. He said that usually industry runs on three shifts but dew to load shedding it is running just on two shifts. Beside this, unannounced loadshedding also hampering the pace of industrial work, he added. He further said that on average every industrial unit is facing a loss of 10 to 15 million annually due to closure of gas supply and power loadshedding. "In 2005, the Government under the gas load management policy had set a priority list on the basis of which energy distribution to different sectors was regulated. Textile industry is not being given accommodation even in accordance with that list. Even the winter gas load management policy based on clusters concept has not proved beneficial because of the mismanagement of SNGPL," he said. Gas for almost all textile industry in Lahore was disconnected during Eid Holidays in spite of low usage, he added. He, on behalf of the textile industrialists appealed to the President and the Prime Minister to start such a load management program which could not harm the industry. He pointed out that mis-managed energy strategy will put the textile industry in dire straits with baneful results in areas of domestic employment, GDP, export receipts and balance of payments. "To add to these woes, the economy will be further affected on account of the textile industry's resultant incapacity to meet its loan repayment obligations and the setting in of a cycle of bank defaults on a large scale," he said. "Textile industry exports are approximately $ 10.5 billion. Around 15% of textiles remain within the country for domestic consumption. Total annual production thus comes to around US dollars 12 billion or Rs 936 billion i.e. 2.56 billion rupees per day. Irrespective of the industry on electricity or gas, approximately 2 month's production equivalent to Rs. 154 billion is being lost. In this context it is therefore imperative for policy makers to re-set the their priorities and ensure gas supply to textile industry under the Natural Gas Allocation & Management Policy 2005; exempt textile industry from electricity load shedding as announced by the PEPCO," he asked the govt. He suggested the govt to equate petrol prices with that of CNG during winter to encourage consumers to use petrol.