FAISALABAD - Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim has agreed to the allocation of specific gas quota for export-oriented textile sector in Faisalabad. The proposed gas quota will be allocated for one week on trial basis for Khurrianwala industrial cluster and later will be implemented for all regions. Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain given the assurance during a meeting with the delegation of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) here.

Briefing the newsmen after the meeting here on Thursday, PTEA Chairman Asghar Ali said that a PTEA delegation headed by him held talks with Dr Asim the other day in Lahore on severe gas loadshedding in the region. The delegation apprised the Adviser of fast declining competitiveness of the textile industry in the region due to short supply of gas, saying that the prevailing situation had put both the investment and industry viability at stake. The time is ripe to attract investment to the export-oriented industry to overcome 40 percent decline in textile exports in quantity terms last year and revival of sick units in the country. Current economic situation warrants that the government give priority to saving millions of jobs and ensure gas supply to keep the wheels of industry running,” he pointed out, adding that after long deliberations Dr Asim accepted the PTEA demand for allocation of specific gas quota to textile sector of Faisalabad and allowed to run this system for one week on trial basis at Khurrianwala industrial belt primarily. Following its success, the formula will be implemented on permanent basis for all sectors,” he added.

The PTEA chairman appreciated the efforts of the Adviser for tackling the industry problems and termed this move a positive step for the textile industry. He pointed out that gas supply cut for 180 days in 2011-12 had affected 50 per cent capacity of the textile industry. The textile millers are working on thin margins and could not afford to continue production on alternative fuel,” he argued, adding that gas outages had been increased from three days to four days a week. The industry has no alternative to run its operations as use of alternate fuels is not a viable proposition, he asserted. He said that textile industry was making a direct contribution of 55 per cent to the country’s exports and providing jobs to 15 million work force. “Allocation of gas quota will help the exporters fulfil foreign commitments well in time and lead to more industrial and economic activities in the region,” he expressed.

The PTEA chairman urged the government to speed up efforts to overcome the energy crisis, saying that Pakistani exports mostly dependent on textile and without overcoming the energy shortage, exports would not grow as targeted.