The Textile Industry of Pakistan has observed a black day today, Tuesday, by carrying out several peaceful protests against the policies of the government.
Gohar Ejaz, chairman (2010) of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), mentions it with great grief that the industry is failing, and the government is doing nothing to help it. In the past four years, the industry has not been able to offer a single job vacancy for new employees. It may also be important to note that thousands of employees have lost their jobs because they face a delay in payment of wages as several mills have shut down. These employees will not be able to enjoy the last Ashra of Ramadan, and will not celebrate Eid due to lack of money now. The pressure on these textiles mills is too much, as only one shift of units is working, while the other two are closed.
GOVERNMENT NOT FULFILLING ITS DUTY:
Gohar Ejaz also mentioned that the industry does not want to protest against the Government. However, circumstances leave them no choice. The Government is not fulfilling the promises they have made to the Textile Industry. Where the government keeps promising that they will add thousands of megawatts to the system, they are failing to do so, because ever since Ramadan has started, the workers have to face load shedding of 10 hours or more at the mills, due to which there is a delay in their work.
“There was no load shedding for the industry when the electricity generation was merely 8000 megawatts before 2013,” says Ejaz.
However, this is not the only promise the Government is failing to fulfill. There are serious concerns over the non-allocation of funds worth Rs. 180 billion on textile package budget.
S.M Muneer, the Chairman of Din Textile Mills and the Chief Executive at Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), used to be Pro-PMLN and used to support the government wholeheartedly. However, now Muneer, along with other prominent figures of the Textile industry is teaming up with Imran Khan to stand against the Government policies implemented on Textile Mills and industries. It seems as if this is a tactic to pressurize the government in order to give heed to the problems of the textile industry before it fails completely in the country.
OTHER NOTABLE PROBLEMS OF THE INDUSTRY:
It hs also been recorded that the value of importing garments keeps increasing, as exporting the country’s garments is facing a downfall which means the country will profit less from this industry altogether.
While the value of importing garments from abroad is 52 billion dollars, our exporting value is only 20 billion dollars. We are also importing a fair share of cloth and threads from India, due to which Indian fabric and thread are available in almost any shop of markets across the nation. The electricity per unit in India is only Rs. 5, while in Pakistan it is Rs. 11.50. This is why the Indian cloth is cheaper than that of Pakistan itself. Hence, people prefer buying the cheaper Indian cloth of same quality than buying the Pakistani cloth and thread at higher prices. This way the industry is facing loss in its own country as well. It is believed that if the same situation continues, the textile industry will face further loss and the exports will reduce down to only 15 billion dollars.
Everything mentioned or read in books is much different to reality, which is why workers of textile mills are now trying to gain the attention of the government towards this matter.
Chairman of APTMA, Aamir Fayyaz, already held a campaign last Saturday after a protest outside the APTMA Punjab Office. Protests with banners are being held outside mill gates and factories across Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Faisalabad, and Peshawar. After Eid, on 9th July, thousands are believed to march towards the Parliament House in Islamabad. The workers are dedicated to succeed in their motive and to protest until it bears desirable results.