ISLAMABAD - Power and gas outages in the country have yielded into Rs 200 billion annual losses to the textile sector during last four years.

Textile sector has been termed as export oriented sector that not only contributes billion of rupees to the national economy but also provides jobs to millions of people in the country.

Sources revealed that though export of raw cotton, cotton yarn and export of low value-added textiles had increased, yet the value-added apparel and home textile exports declined considerably during the last four years.

Bumper cotton production was recorded in the country during this period of time, however due to gas and power shortage, the industry was unable to consume the crop for value-added production.

Due to tariff concession, easy market access, improved law and order situation and good energy supply in Bangladesh, Turkey and Sri Lanka, some textile units have relocated there. Availability of utilities, low utility price and subsidies that have been provided by competitor governments are disadvantaging textile exports of Pakistan. Further, due to poor law and order situation, production losses have increased, but the main reason behind these losses was gas and power shortage in the country, sources maintained.

To address the issues of textiles sector and make it self-sustainable, the government approved first ever Textile Policy (2009-14) in August 2009 that envisaged boosting textile exports to $25 billion in five years. The Cabinet while approving the Textile Policy also approved the proposal that the textile industry will be exempted from loadshedding and would enjoy priority.

However, government failed to ensure gas and power to the industry and it failed to meet its production and export targets as was envisaged in the policy, sources maintained.