FAISALABAD - Despite gradual rise in temperature and changing weather condition, the Textile Processing Industry, especially in Punjab is still facing severe four days gas curtailment in a week even in the month of March. Temperature is risen from winter season while domestic and commercial load has also reduced drastically. All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) Chairman Ajmal Farooq stated this in a press release issued here the other day.

He pointed out that the textile processing industry in Punjab remained closed for 154 days due to gas loadshedding since July-2012 and the electricity outages also played havoc with the productivity sector.

He emphasised that the Textile Processing Industry had a continuous process and this curtailment multiplied the damages, making the Industry sick, adding that due to the miserable condition, some units were closed and many were at the verge of closure. He lamented that that due to gas shortage some units had been relocated to Bangladesh and many others were trying shifting their setups.

The APTPMA chairman argued that the Textile Processing Industry was unable to ensure in time shipments to the global market due to holdups in the production process in the wake of gas and power outages. The continuous gas and electricity outages are inflicting $25 million to $30 million losses every day on the textile industry in Punjab," he claimed.

Furthermore, local industrialist faced with tough competition in international market vis-à-vis other neighbouring competitors like China, India, and Bangladesh. Even local industrialists are demoralized and unable to hold their labour.

Ajmal Farooq asserted that despite bumper cotton crop, the Textile Processing Industry was unable to consume it for preparation of value added products due to worst energy shortage.

He stated that the export target of $95 billion fixed in Trade Policy seemed absurd assumption such like a dream with open eyes in the face of the prevailing gas and power shortage.

The APTPMA chief demanded President Asif Ali Zardari, Caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso and other authorities to issue directions for restoration of uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas to the Textile Processing Industry throughout week with optimum pressure to undo the losses occurred in past in the best interest of the nation.

Seminar : Only 1.2 percent of the country Gross Demotic Product (GDP) is being the spent on the education sector, which is very low and needs to be increased to compete with the world.

Higher Education Commission Executive Director Dr Mukhatar Ahmad said while addressing a seminar titled 'Agricultural Entrepreneurial Growth and Employment Opportunities' held at University of Agriculture, Faisalabad the other day.

He said that the higher education rate in Pakistan was around 8 percent whereas India was standing at 18 percent. He said that steps on war-footage were needed to aware the masses about the importance of education in order to make progress in the every sphere of life.

He urged the teaching community to put focus on the moral values of the students to emerge an ideal state across the globe. He said that the work on the part of researches should have the impact on the society.

Speaking on the occasion, Planning Commission former member Dr Dilawar Ali Khan said that it was prerequisite to take the step to improve the economy with the pace of 8 percent annually keeping in view the increasing population.

He said that annual increase in the population was four million, posing the threat to the country.

Dr Iqrar Ahmad said that the now the focus of the teaching community should be on polishing the entrepreneurial growth. He said that the population of the country at the time of independence was 33 million which now touched to 180 million.

Dr Khalid Mehmood said that the literacy rate in women was only 44 percent compared to 66 percent in men.

UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahamd Khan, Arid Agricultural University Rawalpindi former Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Mehmood Khan, Khwaja Sarmad, Aurrgia CEO Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, SB CEO Bisharratual Jisarat and Hafiz Abdul Qayum, Dr Manzoor Ahmad also spoke on the occasion.