LAHORE - The Punjab-based major textile industry associations, including APTMA, PRGMEA, PHMA, Power Looms Association, PTEA, APTPMA and PAKSEA met at the APTMA Punjab office on Saturday to deliberate upon the issues concerning viability of the textile industry in Punjab.

Representatives of the associations decided unanimously to call on Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for securing uniform energy price across the country. Also, the textile industry associations decided to seek Chief Minister Punjab intervention for an immediate liquidation of the stuck up refunds of sales tax with the federal government.

While apprehending a closure of the Punjab-based textile industry due to the energy price disparity, they said the Punjab government should either secure a uniform energy price from the federal government or bear the price differential like the East Punjab government in India.

The textile industry leadership said the prevailing disparity in the energy price in Punjab was double to the energy price for mills in other provinces. All the manufacturing units of spinning, weaving, dyeing, readymade garments, hosiery, towel and other sectors are becoming redundant fast with every passing day. Workers of these mills are being laid off day in and day out. Also, both the backward and forward linkages and allied sectors of the textile industry are facing the brunt of the situation across Punjab.

They pointed out that the textile industry in Punjab is paying Rs1300 per MMBTU for RLNG against Rs600 per MMBTU in other provinces. Similarly, the imposition of Rs3.60 per kWh electricity surcharge in the electricity bills is being charged unfairly which cannot be passed on to the buyers in the international marketplace the business equation in Punjab is being heavily distorted, leading to the closure of mills in every sector of the industry.

The textile industry, as a matter of fact, has become uncompetitive both within the country as well as the region. The pending sales tax refunds and duty drawbacks are also hitting hard to the viability of the industry.

Earlier, central chairman APTMA Aamir Fayyaz made a detailed presentation to the representatives of various associations on the existing state of affairs in the textile industry.