LAHORE - The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has said that the industry in Punjab was presently being charged Rs1250/MMBTU for gas as compared to gas supply to the industry in other provinces at Rs 600/MMBTU.

Similarly, electricity in Punjab was being provided to the textile exporting industry along with surcharges of Rs.3.60/KWH [Tariff Rationalization (TR) and Financial Cost (FC)].

The textile industry in Punjab is saddled with the burden of non-recovery of bills and electricity theft of others, a factor of inefficiency that cannot be passed on to the international buyer.

This disparity is unjust and unfair for Punjab-based textile industry to sustain. Textile industry associations have repeatedly represented this issue to the governments both at the federal and provincial levels but to no avail.

Faced with this sorry state of the affairs textile industry associations in Punjab have decided to hold a joint session on Saturday, out of desperation, participants and stakeholders will consider all options be it closure, protest, observance of black-day to secure the viability of the Punjab industry.

The spokesman for the APTMA urged the government to announce and lay down the implementation mechanism for the agreed long-term policy for the revival and growth of the textile industry. "An early announcement of the policy will help reverse trade account deficit and thereby contribute to the country's progress and prosperity," he stressed.