Textile exporters plan to shift industries to other countries

Perturbed from gas load-shedding, textile exporters have threatened to move their industries to other countries.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Pakistan Apparel Forum (PAF) Chairman Jawed Bilwani said that textile exporters have formed a committee for due diligence to shift industries in the wake of gas crises and unviable business environment.

During a meeting of prominent textile exporters of Pakistan, it was mentioned that since last 15 days (from June 11 2021) there was zero gas pressure, which has crippled industries and halted export production.

“During fiscal year 2020-21, some 99 days out of 320 working days, gas pressure was zero or low,” he added.

Furthermore, textile exporters having RLNG connections and paying the amounts with great difficulty, to meet export orders at a rate of Rs1,533 per mmbtu, are not provided gas.

The exporters questioned how industries would work without the basic raw material. They voiced concerns that there is no chance that the textile export industries will get the required gas smoothly with adequate pressure in future.

Textile industry is one of the leading export industries of Pakistan, said a textile sector research analyst. Exports clocked-in at $13.8 billion in the first 11 months of the outgoing fiscal year 2020-21 alone.

“This is more than twice the International Monetary Fund (IMF) facility of $6 billion,” the analyst said, adding that depriving the industry of gas will hurt exports of the country.

Similarly, non-export industries are also not getting gas as per their requirement. These industries also play a vital role in the manufacturing of value-added products for export industries, and also produce products for meeting local demand, said North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry (NKATI) President Faisal Moiz Khan.

“Therefore, non-export industries are as important as export industries and they should be ignored,” he maintained.

Bilwani added that amid the continuous gas crisis in the country, especially in Karachi, and given contradictory moves by the government towards its business policies by depriving the exporters of a level-playing field and viable business environment, the textile exporters have constituted a committee for due diligence to shift textile export industries elsewhere, on the exporters demand, to correspond and negotiate with those countries which have much better business and export-friendly policies and are offering most attractive incentives to their foreign investors as well as their local industries.

Khan urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to restore Karachi’s industries and save them from destruction so that production activities can resume as usual and workers can be saved from becoming unemployed.

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