LAHORE – SALMAN ABDUHU - Power supply to the industry remained suspended all the day long on Sunday countrywide as the cricket lover higher authorities decided to engage the nation to watch cricket match and provided them smooth power supply despite record shortfall at the cost of industry.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has desired uninterrupted power supply during cricket match. Accordingly, the power authorities suspended power supply to industrial units countrywide.

Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Mohsin Aziz while criticising the non-serious attitude of the PM, observed that govt put off power supply to the whole industry just to entertain cricket fans.

Mohsin Aziz lamented that the government suspended electricity supply to industry to entertain cricket fans, which speaks volumes about government’s priority towards the economic development of Pakistan.  He said the entertainment is though an important segment of a healthy society but having it at the cost of industrial growth is not understandable.

He said that unprecedented electricity and gas crisis coupled with the record high discount rate by the central bank have been hitting the industry hard in the country.

He said that the textile, auto as well as the cement industries, particularly in the province of Punjab, was showing alarming downward trends in exports as well as local production since last two quarters due to energy shortage. The whole industry was facing acute financial crunch, unable to repay loans to banks, he added.

According to Chairman APTMA, the volume of Non Performing Loans (NPLs) of the textile industry surged to the tune of Rs188 billion in September 2011 against Rs171 billion in December 2010. Also, he added, the infection ratio of NPLs for textile industry has surged to 31.5 percent in September 2011 against 24.3 percent in December 2010.

He said there is an urgent need of rescheduling of loans and 50 percent rebate on mark up for long term loans to avert massive closure of textile industry due to unprecedented energy crisis in the country.

He said textile exports are also down in value terms, dwindling 17 percent down in January 2012 against corresponding period, keeping monthly exports below one billion dollar, which was on an average over $1.2 billion during 2010-11. There is a consistent decline for the last four months and it is becoming impossible to achieve announced $16 billion export target for current fiscal against $14 billion last fiscal year and it is likely to stay below $12 billion. 

He said the textile industry was not generating export surplus in the absence of gas and electricity. He said gas supplied remained disconnect for 172 days during last calendar year besides average load shedding of six to eight hours a day on independent and grouped feeders.

Chairman APTMA said textile exports have registered unprecedented decline in quantitative terms since November 2011. He said exports of cotton cloth, knitwear, bed wear and towel have declined by 40 percent, 35 percent, 30 percent and 22 percent in January 2012 against the corresponding period.

He said the textile industry was heading fast to a collapse like situation. He said massive litigation would be a direct outcome of the situation, as the textile industry was not in a position to keep its capacities operational due to unprecedented energy crisis.

He said the textile industry becomes unviable if it is unable to be operational 24/7 for 365 days a year, as it is highly capital intensive industry and can attain efficiency only if operations remain intact. However, the prevailing situation is quite contrary to the industry viability; therefore, bank servicing was becoming difficult with every passing day.

Mohsin said the industry would become redundant in case no immediate reversal to the situation takes place. He said both the government and the State Bank of Pakistan should act prudently and announce relief package for textile industry to avert bankruptcies, massive layoffs and a sharp cut in exports of the country.

Chairman APTMA said the textile industry was already underperforming due to unprecedented energy crisis in the country since November 2007, leading to 40% capacity closure with a contraction of over a billion dollar export loss every month besides job losses.

Mohsin criticised the economic managers for their indifferent attitude towards industrial growth of the country. Eventually, all efforts to attain market access from the European Union prove useless in the face of non-serious attitude of government policy makers, he deplored and said that market access can only be availed if export surplus is available with industry out 365 days a year production cycle.