LAHORE - The industry and its captive power plants should be the first and not third on the priority list and the sector will defend its case on every forum for the prosperity of the people of Pakistan, as everything will be doomed if the industrial wheel will be stopped.

“The government and its power plants have failed to provide electricity to the domestic and industrial consumers because of the inefficient GENCOs and distribution system and the only way for the industry to survive is to get 7 days a week uninterrupted gas supply to its captive power plants all over the country till the government resolves the electricity theft and efficiency issues of GENCOs consuming Rs93 billion of furnace oil and gas against Rs53 billion recovery per month,” observed All Pakistan Textile Mills Association’s spokesperson.

He said that most of the CPPs were installed under the Energy Policy 2005, duly approved and issued by the OGRA as generation license, to avoid energy shortage and to ensure an interruption free electricity supply in order to save the installed machinery and continue with production activities to generate employment out of an important agriculture cash crop of cotton.

Also, he said, the priority list is duly approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal government.

The textile industry CPPs consumes hardly 170MMCFD on the SNGPL network, which is already facing shortage leading to supply suspension for 210 days so far during the current fiscal year. Also, APTMA has had never encouraged gas-based supply of electricity to the network. It is a matter of record that the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) has already proposed a priority to the industry on gas supply. The Planning Commission has also endorsed the recommendation of the FoDP. It is an undeniable fact that every country puts industry on priority whenever shortage of natural resources allocation takes place, which is not only a prudent approach but also in line with the economic use of the natural resource, he added.

It is an open secret that the textile industry of Pakistan is backbone, mainstay and engine of growth of our country and it is very disappointing that some elements are maligning industry and the CPPs without any facts and portraying a completely distorted picture contrary to the facts. He said the textile industry earns $13 billion foreign exchange, employs 38 per cent of the manufacturing sector workforce and contributes 9 per cent to the GDP that comes around 10.5 per cent if 1.5 per cent contribution of cotton is also taken into account.

APTMA spokesman has said that the industry and its association would keep lobbying in the larger interest of the country, which is not a crime by any means. He has therefore negated the impression that of creating any hurdle in resolving energy crisis and added that the industry, in fact, is consuming electricity direct from the independent feeders at zero line losses and pay 100 per cent of the utility bills. Similar approach is adopted on payments against gas consumption, which can be verified from the utility agencies, as there is hardly any UFG on the part of the industry.