LAHORE – All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Mohsin Aziz, while expressing concern over constant decline in exports for the last two quarters, has observed that dreams of $16 billion exports target in 2011-12 is unlikely to be materialized by the end of fiscal year. Even the export target of previous year worth $14 billion will not be achieved mainly due to energy crisis, as the year may end up with meagre $12 billion textile exports, he added.

He said energy shortage was the prime cause of decline in exports, as 40 per cent of production capacity of textile industry is dysfunctional due to short supply of electricity and gas. It is only raw cotton exports registering growth, which unfortunately is agriculture crop with no value addition until being processed through value-added textile chain, he lamented.

Mohsin Aziz said textile exports in quantity terms have dropped by over 30 per cent in the month of February comparing with corresponding period.

He said it was only first quarter of current fiscal year when textile exports showed steady growth which was due to the BMR in the previous year which had brought in hope of achieving $16 billion exports by the end of end of current fiscal. However, the latter two quarter results are quite dismal and exports are consecutively showing declining trend since October 2011 till date.

Chairman APTMA said exports of cotton cloth, knitwear, bed wear and readymade garments are down on an average by 31 per cent, 36 per cent, 31 per cent and 19 per cent respectively in quantity terms since November.

According to him, the textile industry based on independent and grouped feeders are facing serious setback due to load constraints and shut downs for four to eight hours a day. Resultantly, he said, textile industry has failed to produce export surplus and is not likely to meet $16 billion exports and is likely to close the year at $12 billion exports. Even, the European Union trade concessions will not bring in any desired results and effort would also go waste as we are not producing export surplus to be able to achieve new market access due to consecutive and frequent closures and shut down the mills are still facing financial losses out of proportion their abilities. The banking sector is reluctant to come up and extend helping hand and industry is now facing severe liquidity crunch.

Also, he said, the textile industry in Punjab has witnessed 61 days gas closure since December 27 till date and the federal government has recently restored five days a week gas supply from March 26. But still the APTMA member mills are complaining about low pressure and much more is needed to be done to ensure uninterrupted gas supply to textile mills.

Chairman APTMA said the warning regarding consecutive drop in exports and the health of textile sector is being taken up by APTMA at various forums. Now the time has come that the repair has to be made, as mills will close down bringing exports to further decline.