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Chairman APTMA urges PM to save jobs

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Chairman APTMA S M Tanveer has urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif to save jobs of hundreds and thousands of Punjab-based textile workers by directing DISCOs to ensure uninterrupted power supply to textile mills.

He said power supply to the Punjab-based textile mills is suspended over the last two days and the mills are left with no option but to close down two shifts and lay-off textile workers.

According to him, the Punjab-based textile industry is operating in very difficult times through a combination of electricity and gas, despite serious cost-ineffectiveness due to inordinate tariff rates.

However, suspension of power supply over the last two days as a results of the third Country-wide black-out during the last 30 days, has restricted the Punjab-based textile mills to rely upon just six hours a day gas supply on the SNGPL network.

Resultantly, he said, the majority of Punjab-based textile mills have opted for shutting down two shifts a day instead of continuing 24/7 operations and save jobs of workers.

He said the industry operations in LESCO region, in particular, are highly disrupted and majority of mills are unable to meet export orders from buyers.

Already, he said, exports of cotton yarn and cotton cloth are on a declining trend since last two quarters. Furthermore, supplies to the textile value chain are also in doldrums, which has led to negative impact on textile exports from Pakistan.

S M Tanveer said power supply suspension to the Punjab-based textile mills has panicked textile workers and frustration is on the rise with every passing moment.

He has expressed concern that the industry viability will be under threat and revival of industry will be difficult in case of any further delay in the full resumption of power supply on the 24 / 7 basis.

Chairman APTMA said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had issued special directive to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the Punjab-based textile mills. Unfortunately, NTDC has failed to obey the clear cut directive and LESCO is exposing Punjab-based textile mills to undue risk by not supplying power to mills. The Chairman APTMA further said that the Ministry of Water & Power seems not to be taking benefit of the fastly falling oil pricing through full use of existing and presently dormant generation capacity. Otherwise, according to him, the present electricity demand could easily met. Coupled with the collapse of the NTDC System, Chairman APTMA said that the situation was extremely serious and needed immediate attention of the government.

S M Tanveer has urged the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif to take stock of the situation and direct the Punjab-based DISCOs, especially LESCO, to immediately restore power supply to textile mills on independent feeders that have zero line losses and are fully compliant in the payment of electricity bills.