Punjab textile industry headed toward closure

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Shamshad Mangat

Islamabad

Due to negligence of the federal government it has become difficult for the textile mills in Punjab to run their operations. They are fast headed toward complete closure mainly due to non-availability of gas.

The National Economic Council (NEC) and Federal Cabinet have already directed to provide gas to the textile industry of Punjab equal to that of the Sindh.

But due to disregard of the government the 27,000 families of Punjab are at the risk of losing their livelihood.

Two months ago, the NEC and the Federal Cabinet directed that textile industry of Punjab be provided relief, and gas equal to the Sindh textile industry, but no action was seen in this direction.

The textile industry has also availed a stay from court in this regard.

Punjab has 293 textile mills, only 190 are functional, due to double billing 100 more are close to shut down.

The finance minister while addressing the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce promised to provide gas equal to Sindh but up till now no action taken.

The mills are going out of business fast in Punjab, due to the energy price differential within the country and undue delay in announcement of the textile package

Electricity and gas are basic raw material of the textile industry and difference in their prices between provinces was adding to the miseries of Punjab’s industrial sector as its products had almost become out of race in the global market.

In 2016 the executive committee of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry pressed the government to implement the same electricity and gas tariffs across the country as discrimination in utility prices was hitting the Punjab industry hard.