KARACHI - President Asif Ali Zardari has advised government to work out a plan to ensure uninterrupted gas supply to industry in Punjab for five days a week commencing from first week of May.

This he said during his meeting with APTMA delegation here at Bilawal House on Monday when his attention was drawn to the issues being faced by textile mills and other industry.

President said that textile industry was playing an important role in the country’s exports and there was a need to select out of the box solutions to address issues being faced by the industry and to enhance value added exports of textiles.

While appreciating contribution of textile sector in the economic progress and prosperity of the country, President assured government’s full support to APTMA towards realisation of their full potential and the export targets.

President emphasised the need for closer cooperation between public sector research centres and manufacturers/ producers in private sector so as to create an enabling environment for enhancing productivity.

He said that research work on developing new varieties of cotton with higher production potential, diverse and distinct characteristics must be geared up for meeting the future demands of cotton.

President said negligible investment in the past few years has cost the country its technological edge in the basic textiles which it used to enjoy once over the neighbouring countries. We need to reverse this trend so as to regain our position, President added.

He said that there was a variation in yields of common and progressive farmers which needs to be filled in a short span to enhance cotton production.

President also said that a meeting of Governor State Bank with representative of APTMA and the Ministry of Textile should also be held to work out plans for crop insurance.

He said that modern mapping technology can effectively be employed in crop insurance and to offset the possibility of wrong claims.

Mohsin Aziz, Chairman APTMA, briefed the meeting on the prospects of increased export of textile products and also spelled out the problems being faced by textile sector.

President said that Government was making all efforts to address the issue of power shortage to the textile industry. He said that present challenges call for greater and active partnership of private and public sector so as to adopt consensus based policies and to overcome issues being faced by country.

At the meeting a number of participants put forth their suggestions for overcoming the current challenges faced by the industry.

Those who were present during the meeting included Mohsin Aziz, Chairman APTMA, Gohar Ijaz Former Chairman, Ahsan Bashir, Chairman Punjab Zone, Sheikh Muhammad Akbar, Vice Chairman Centre, Yasin Siddique, Chairman Sindh/Balochistan Zones, Asif Inam, Chairman (Cotton Committee) and other executive members of APTMA.

Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Dr Asim Hussain, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Syed Naveed Qamar, Rehman Malik, federal secretaries and other senior officials of departments concerned were also present during the meeting.