LAHORE - Textile industry continued to remain closed for three days a week, as Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has suggested a cut in gas supply to the industries in Punjab in the winter season to ensure supply to residential consumers in the face of expected shortages. The gas shortage would increase to 600mmcfd in Punjab in the peak winter season. All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Chairman Mohsin Aziz has opposed the three-day suspension of gas supply to textile mills, saying that it will carry multi-dimensional consequences for the industry. Expressing his concerns over the continued suspension of gas to the textile whole sector, Aptma Chairman Mohsin Aziz told The Nation that the curtailment would be counterproductive for the textile sector, which is the largest industrial consumer of gas in the country. He said that APTMA has pleaded for preferential treatment by providing an uninterrupted gas supply to textile mills because the sector would miss the yearly export target. He said that the gas load management would result in closure of many textile units rendering a large number of workers jobless. He stated that textile mills have already been suffering due to electricity outages and high interest rates. He said that the industries problems would multiply, as the government resorted to curtail gas supplies. It is to be noted that Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Husain had assured four days a week gas supply to the textile industry in Punjab during winter. It may be enhanced to five days a week with the addition of 200mmcfd in the system sooner than later. The minister said that a number of measures, including gas infrastructure surcharge, gas theft act, levy on domestic LPG and end of price distortion had been taken to streamline gas supply to the consumers, particularly the textile industry. He said the CNG stations in particular were proving a burden on industrial growth as they were consuming gas reserved for the textile industry. Mr Husain was of the view that the 500mmcfd shale gas would be a part of the system within two years as a result of further explorations. He said he would be in a position to share good news with the nation about new gas finds in Sindh within next 10 days. He said the system was producing 29 mmcfd at present, having a potential of 79 mmcfd in future. Mohsin Aziz, Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) also expressed his deep sense of sorrow on the loss of precious lives of the defenders of the borders of Pakistan in the NATO attack. He said that the business community condemned in the strongest terms the unprovoked attack on the army jawans. He said Pakistan had been in the forefront of war against terror, which had cost the country dearly in human lives and economic growth. He said the world recognize that we are victims of aggression and terror for the last two decades. He said that like every patriotic Pakistani, the business community believe in the motherland first and was ready and willing to offer every sacrifice for the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan. He said our hearts bled for the young brave soldiers who lost their lives and sympathized with the bereaved families. He said the business community would stand shoulder to shoulder with its forces against all enemies.