Annoyed by the abrupt announcement made by the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) to increase the gas load-shedding from the earlier three days per week to four days a week, several textile industries in Pakistan’s Faisalabad have shutdown.
To protest against the SNGPL’s decision, over 600 industries, majority of them being value-added and export-oriented textile units, have closed. Besides industrialists, the protest is being supported by textile associations.
As claimed by the textile industry of the north zone, a steady rise in load-shedding coupled with low gas pressure is adding to the woes of the entrepreneurs as well as public. Moreover, the daily wage workers associated with the industry now would also have to endure a four-day per week redundancy.
Christmas export orders are very important for textile industry as the EU and the US buyers place bulk orders for made ups, textiles and garments during this period to meet requirements of domestic retailers and other customers who look forward to shop for their winter apparels in the month of December.
With an intention to keep their inventory racks full during autumn season to meet the Christmas rush, the wholesalers and importers in foreign countries place bulk orders during this period each year.
As revealed by the industry sources, local exporters are already working to fulfil the orders they have received, but gas load-shedding is preventing them from timely completing and executing their orders.
The industry’s exports are also adversely affected by recurrent rise in electricity, gas and petroleum prices, as these increases are pushing up the cost of production, thus making Pakistani textile exports costlier and unviable for overseas customers.