Delay in energy relating notification hits exports: APTMA

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab Chairman Adil Bashir said Monday the prevailing uncertainty due to inordinate delay in the issuance of notification for a regionally competitive energy price, i.e. gas at $6.5 per MMBTU and electricity at 7.5 cent per kWh, by the government has seriously impacted the growth in exports, production and investment.

He said the government had announced in a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on 27th September to provide energy supply to the Punjab-based exporting industry, both for captive and processing use, at regionally competitive price to make it viable and to revive the closed capacity here.

He further said one long term objective of this initiative was to attract new investment and to double the textile and clothing exports.

The export data for the month of October 2018 indicates that both the industry and exports have become the victim of prevailing uncertainty, as the export of cotton yarn and cotton cloth have dropped by over 39% and 24.11% respectively against the corresponding period. Also, the overall exports of textile and clothing have declined by 0.21% during the same period.

He said it is quite confusing as to why the government and the concerned machinery were delaying the notification for tariff equalization for the exporting industry in Punjab despite a firm assurance and commitment by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The gas is being supplied at Rs 488 per MMBTU in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against at Rs 1663 per MMBTU for the mills in Punjab, he added.

He said the existing industry in Punjab cannot survive under the given circumstances, what to talk about its revival in near future. Already, he added, 30 percent of the production capacity across spinning, weaving and processing sectors with an export potential worth $4 billion has been closed down due to the high cost of business in the province of Punjab.