Textile industry facing 10-hour loadshedding
The textile industry is running from pillar to post in search of uninterrupted energy supply since the new government is in place to keep their operations intact and workers employed ahead of Eid. At present, the textile industry is facing 10 hours a day electricity loadshedding on independent feeders and gas supply to the Captive Power Plants of textile mills has also been reduced to two and a half days from five days a week a year back.
This situation has hit the industrial viability hard, as many of the textile units have either closed down operations or laid off workers, besides delaying monthly salaries, particularly in the province of Punjab. The textile industry circles told this scribe that the situation has got out of their control since the Pepco has exposed it to 10 hours a day electricity loadshedding after Supreme Court’s decision of equal loadshedding for electricity consumers across the country.
The industry was highly optimistic with the success of the PML-N in May 11 elections, as there was a general consensus that the PML-N leadership would easily understand the situation because of its industrial background. However, the situation on ground has not matched with high expectations and the industrial circles have started recalling the good days of the PPP government when they were supplied with five days a week gas supply besides exemption from electricity loadshedding for major part of the year.
They said the Ministry for Water and Power has not prioritised the textile industry and all its focus on providing relief to the domestic consumers. According to them, the Ministry for Water and Power has failed to understand the importance of textile industry, playing pivotal role in national economy by exporting $13 billion textile products and providing jobs to 15 million work force across the country. Further, they said, the industry is developing concrete forward and backward linkages in the agriculture sector and consuming the cotton produce, which stands at fourth number across the world.
It may be noted that Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Energy Dr Musadik Malik visited the APTMA last week. All his conversation with the APTMA leadership was focused on the single point that the industry would be prioritised on energy supply right after the announcement of the energy policy by the Prime Minister after his return from China.
However, the industry circles are expressing their dismay over undue delay in the announcement of the energy policy by the Prime Minister, which earlier was supposed to be announced by the Prime Minister before his departure for China.
The APTMA leadership had pointed out to the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Energy that the Disco staff at various grids was selling electricity, as there was no difference in domestic loadshedding whether the industry is supplied with or not with energy supply. Business Recorder