Thanks to increasingly unstable gas supplies, garment and textile manufacturers in Pakistan’s Faisalabad region were unable to resume production last week after four full days without power. Financial experts and industry leaders alike have expressed serious concerns about the region’s ability to remain internationally competitive after such lengthy and unpredictable suspensions.
Asghar Ali, Chairman of The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), released a statement railing against the government’s failure to adequately supply the region. “Suspension of gas supply to industrial units is sheer injustice,” Ali said, adding that the suspension “has badly hurt thousands of workers, besides affecting production of goods.”
Ali called for priority status for the textile industry, which is Pakistan’s largest exporter of goods. Like many before him, Ali chided the government for its failure to develop a sustainable, long-term solution to Pakistan’s energy crisis, which he said has prompted some textilers to relocate to Bangladesh, Turkey, and Sri Lanka.
The Pakistani government may not have a long-term strategy, but it appears that the PTEA’s accusations haven’t fallen on deaf ears. The government has now promised to increase the number of days it provides reliable power to the industry–from three days per week to four.