LAHORE - The emergent meeting of the general body of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association has decided to close down the textile industry of Pakistan voluntarily, finding it unfeasible to incur losses due to limited supply of gas and power to the industry. 

APTMA Chairman SM Tanveer said the member mills have decided on their own to put their operations off voluntarily because of the viability issue. “We do not want confrontation with the government therefore we are closing down mills voluntarily,” he said.

According to him, the cost of doing business in textile industry has hit through the roof. Meanwhile, the burden of incidental taxes, provincial cess, system inefficiencies and punitive withholding tax regime has added fuel to the fire. “Thus, the business of textile industry has become unviable in Pakistan,” he lamented.

He said the government has not brought the unorganised sectors into tax net and billing the textile industry. All these incidentals and punitive measures have hit the sustainability of textile industry in Pakistan. 

Furthermore, it is also an irony that the federal government has imposed a surcharge of Rs3.60 per unit to mitigate the positive impact of tariff reduction by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority. “The textile industry is unable to bear this burden despite operating on independent feeders with no line losses and theft and 100 percent payment of bills,” he pointed out.

He said the regional competitors are paying less than 10 cent against 14.50 cent electricity tariff in Pakistan. Majority of the mills are already operating partially because of energy mismatch at present, he added.

Chairman APTMA said the textile millers from Khyber Pakhtunkha, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Karachi have decided to close down operations voluntarily and lay off millions of workers, as they have nothing to offer their international buyers against the regional competitors.