LAHORE - The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab held a general body meeting at the APTMA Punjab office which was attended by the members from Faisalabad and Multan zone through video links.

The meeting considered to formulate strategy for restoration of viability of textile industry and obtain one energy price across the country. In a unanimously passed resolution, the house lauded a timely support of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for averting disparity in gas prices in Punjab against other provinces.

While speaking on the occasion, APTMA Punjab Chairman Syed Ali Ahsan said a huge disparity of Rs530 per MMBTU was about to render the textile industry uncompetitive in Punjab against the mills located in other provinces due to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) decision of reducing system gas rates for the general industry from Rs600 per MMBTU to Rs400 per MMBTU. The reduced rate would not have no benefits for the industry in Punjab, he added.

He appreciated the chief minister’s initiative of extending a patient hearing to the industry delegation and understanding its viewpoint and saved 70pc of the textile industry located in Punjab employing 10m direct and indirect workforces. He said three still exists energy price disparity within the country. The only solution to overcome is a uniform price for energy across the country, he added.

He said, “The Punjab-based export-oriented textile industry was unable to pass on surcharges in a highly competitive environment in and around the country.” He said the system gas and RLNG prices should be rationalised to equalise for industry across the country in line with the regional competitor countries.

He further demanded notification of the NEPRA determined electricity tariff for industry without any additional surcharges/levies at regionally competitive rate of Rs7 per KWh. He also expressed the hope that the federal government would announce a comprehensive textile package for the textile industry to bring down high cost of doing business in and across the country.

Objectives of economic

development being achieved

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that solid economic policies of the PML-N government have put the national economy on the right direction besides taking the same to new height of improvement.

“The economic uplift is sure to create lakhs (thousands) of new jobs apart from attracting investment, and pushing fast the wheel of trade and economic activities,” said the Chief Minister while talking to senior leader of PML-N and former federal minister Ghulam Dastagir Khan and Minister for Trade Khurram Dastagir Khan, who called on him in Islamabad.

The Chief Minister said that grand achievements have been made on the economic front during the last three and a half years of the PML-N rule. The government efforts achieved pace which generated economic and business opportunities raising hopes of a prosperous Pakistan among the people. He said that due to stability of national economy, projects, aimed at progress and prosperity of the common man, are being completed expeditiously. He said that work is being carried out on energy projects throughout the country including Punjab round the clock and loadshedding will be eliminated with the completion of power projects next year. Shehbaz Sharif said that infrastructure is being improved for so that benefits of industrial and economic progress should reach the common people. He said that law and order is being improved in Punjab besides maximum facilities are being provided to trade sector.

He said that incentives are being given to private sector so that investment could be promoted in the country. He said that due to effective economic policies of the government, different countries are giving preference to Pakistan for investment resulting in new job and business opportunities.

He said that as a result of steps taken by the government, the objectives of economic development are being achieved. The Chief Minster said that Pakistan will be made a peaceful and economic power under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He said that 2017 will be the year of completion of development projects and realizing the dream of national progress and prosperity of masses.

Minister for Trade informed Chief Minister Punjab about the measures taken for promotion of trade and investment and said that efforts are being made for the promotion of local and foreign investment in the country.