LAHORE - Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Ahsan Bashir has demanded curtailment of gas to the CNG pumps for 90 days in winter to keep Captive Power Plants (CPPs) and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) operative for sustaining Exports and Employment in the country.

The CNG price should be at par with the petrol prices in the country in case the government does not close supply to CNG pumps for 90 days, he added.

He was briefing a select group of media on gas curtailment to the industry. APTMA Group Leader Gohar Ejaz, Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan and other Central Management Committee (CMC) members were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Gohar Ejaz said 113 CPPs were producing 2000MW electricity to keep industrial wheel running. He said 90 percent of the textile industry was dependent on the CPPs for their energy requirement, earning $13 billion exports and generating employment to 15 million workers in the country.

He said the textile industry was not supposed to generate electricity in the country but still it decided to be part of the solution and not the problem. According to him, the textile industry was denied gas supply for 180 days last year against the agreed arrangement of gas curtailment of not more than 90 days to the textile industry.

The SNGPL is bound to supply gas for 270 days a year but still it was denied supply for 180 days, leaving 30 per cent production capacity as redundant.

He paid tributes to the government for supporting the gas supply to industry in the larger interest of national exports and employment to 15 million workers in the country.

He criticized the policy of spending of disposable income on CNG into cars and called it a wastage of the natural resource altogether.

He said some 500MMCFD was being used by the 4000 CNG pumps for vehicles, which is equivalent to the total industrial demand for gas. It is a wrong policy, as the country was misusing and abusing gas to vehicles while keeping the industry shut, he deplored.

He said the gas as a national natural resource should only be used for electricity generation through CPPs and IPPs. He also criticized the government decision of suspending gas supply to textile industry on Eid holidays and keep CNG pumps operational countrywide, whereas the industry is designed to operate for 365-days a year.

He said time has come to decide whether the country needs industrial production or wasteful use of gas for vehicles.

Gohar said Pakistan would have to import $1 billion oil in place of gas to CNG pumps, which is not a big loss in view of $3 billion increase in country’s exports, which is equivalent to total circular debt in the country.