LAHORE - All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab Chairman Syed Ali Ahsan has said the industry worries are multiplying fast due to an unprecedented 50 percent decline in cotton production to six million bales during the current crop season against 10.5 million bales in 2011-12.

This was stated by him during a meeting with Governor Punjab Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana while apprising him of the issues relating to the restoration of viability and growth of textile industry in Punjab. Senior members, the Managing Committee members and other office bearers of the Association also accompanied him during the meeting.

He said that 70 percent of spinning, 61 percent of weaving and 60 percent of processing mills are located in Punjab, which play a leading role in the growth of country’s exports. He further added that affordability and availability of energy, high cost of doing business, inter-province disparity, subsidized import of textiles in domestic commerce, policy and implementation divide and escalating transportation cost are a few more challenges faced by the textile industry in Punjab.

“It is a matter of grave concern that Pakistan could increase the cotton crop area only by 4.4 percent in the last 25 years against 24 percent in China and 58 percent in India during the same period,” he said. He further emphasized that the RLNG is being supplied to the textile industry in Punjab, the price of which is being burdened with UFG, margins and cost of service. He said the multiyear tariff determined by the NEPRA should be announced immediately while levy of surcharges on electricity be withdrawn, as they are a burden on exports. Similarly, the RLNG price should be made competitive in line with other provinces and the region.

Textile industry revival package be expedited and announced at the earliest so as to increase textile exports as envisaged, he said.

Governor Punjab took keen interest in the presentation made by the APTMA Punjab and assured the delegation of the fact that the government was well aware of the issues and challenges of the industry.

“The government would soon announce a package for the textile industry in order to take it out of woes,” he added.