LAHORE- Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Punjab) Ejaz Gohar has said that the current economic situation demands that the government priority should be to save jobs and ensure availability of all inputs including gas and electricity to keep the wheels of industry running. He was addressing a press conference here on Tuesday. He said prudent use of energy and power resources could keep the industries running. He said though the government has given textile industry second priority in supply of power and gas but the decision of the federal cabinet in this regard has not been implemented. He said that as of today (November 20) gas supplies to almost entire textile and some other industries has been cut as the gas shortage in the country was equivalent to the gas used by the textile industry that is likely to render 2.4 million workers jobless in the textile sector only. He said the planners fail to realise that such steps taken in the name of protecting domestic consumers are injurious for them in the long run. He said domestic consumers pay their bills because they are employed. He said if the industries close down most of the consumers would not be in a position to pay their utility bills. Former Chairman Aptma Farooq Abid said textile, the largest industrial sector of the country, was coming out of three years recession. He said despite deteriorating law and order situation and other difficulties, the international buyers were flooding the industry with new orders. He said severance of gas for next five months would mean that the textile industry would not be able to execute new orders that could reach up to $1.5 billion a month. He said this would be a severe blow to the industry, as the buyers would place their orders with other exporting countries. He said government should set its priorities right immediately. He said the exporters would refuse these orders next week if the gas and power supplies were not assured. Vice Chairman Aptma Mohammad Akber said it is ironical that the mills are allowed to run for seven months a year while these remain close for 5 months due to gas and power shortage.