LAHORE - A high-powered 16-member delegation of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) will call on PM Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday (today) to present him way forward of textile industry.

Mohsin Aziz, Chairman APTMA, along with Gohar Ejaz, Group Leader APTMA, Seth Akbar, Vice Chairman, Tariq Saud, Vice Chairman, Ahsan Bashir, Chairman APTMA Punjab, Shahzad Ali Khan, Convener Energy Committee and Zonal Chairmen and Vice Chairman will brief the Prime Minister about fast eroding competitiveness of textile industry in the region due to short supplies of electricity and gas.

APTMA spokesman said the delegation would apprise the Premier of the fact that both the investment and industry viability are at stake in the absence of an immediate BMR worth US$5 billion in next three years to maintain $15b production capacity.  He said the APTMA delegation would also urge upon the Prime Minister to direct the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for industry-specific interventions, including regionally competitive interest rate, to generate growth and employment in the country. The loans of textile industry have touched to the lowest level of seven percent of Rs7 trillion, amounting to Rs500 billion mainly due to energy crisis. The NPLs are set to reach 50% of the total loans and industry is unable to perform on 12% interest rate and 7% bank spread in a situation when 40% capacity is down due to energy shortage. He said India is offering loans to its industry on 3.5%, which is needed to be followed in Pakistan .

The APTMA delegation would also discuss the imposition of Rs100 per BTU and Gas Infrastructure Development Surcharge on industry, thus enforcing a tax of Rs24 billion per annum.

He said the industry would only consider paying this surcharge on such an exorbitant rate once the mechanism for the expeditious implementation of infrastructural projects. Also, he said, it should be escrow account for specific utilization. H said the APTMA way forward consists of offering partnership under Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for erecting LNG terminal without seeking any sovereign guarantee from the government. Besides, a submission will also be made to the prime minister to ensure expeditious implementation of the surcharge of Rs24 billion collected under the development of gas infrastructure in country, including LNG, IP, and TAPI gas import projects, he added.

He said it is high time to attract investment to the export-oriented industry to overcome 40 percent decline in textile exports in quantity terms and revival of sick units in the country.

He added that APTMA would also demand exemption from load shedding for textile industry on independent feeders and winter strategy for textile industry on gas allocation.

APTMA would also raise concerns over imminent floods ahead and urge upon the government to introduce Crop Insurance Scheme for farmers, as a proposal is already put forward by APTMA in this regard.

APTMA spokesman said Ministers for Textile Industry, Water & Power, Petroleum & Natural Resources and Finance would also be present in the meeting.