PAKISTAN: Protests threatened as energy shortages kick in
Protests and sit-ins are being threatened by the group representing Pakistan's textile mills unless power supplies are restored to the industry.
The threat comes after electricity companies told the textile industry to cut its energy use by 50% due to power shortages over the winter months.
More than 300 textile plants in the province of Punjab are facing daily electricity cuts of 6-14 hours, while gas supplies have been suspended for five days a week due to increased demand for heating from household users.
Ejaz Khokhar, former chairman of the Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), told just-style the energy cuts have halved garment production and asks how exporters can meet their commitments for the Christmas season?
Gohar Ejaz, former chairman of APTMA, adds that textile and garment export shipments worth US$3bn are likely to be affected in the months of December through February.
Over 75% of Pakistan's textile industry is located in the northern part of the country including Punjab, the Khyber Pakhtun Khwa and Azad Kashmir, where most of the plants run on gas-based power. However, contracts ensure a continuous supply for just nine months of the year.
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