Textile and clothing plants in Pakistan will face gas cuts for at least two days a week during the winter season, starting from 15 November until March 2011.

Under the government's Gas Load Management Program, textile plants have been advised to make alternative power arrangements to avoid closures during the winter. The scheme has been in operation every winter since 2005, with the gas supply cut to different economic sectors on alternate days.

However, gas outages may be even more severe this winter as gas reserves have been depleting while consumption has risen by around 10% every year.

Gohar Ejaz, chairman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), said the textile and clothing industry suffers production losses of PKR1bn a month due to the cuts. He is calling on the government to make sure gas is available to the industry on a priority basis.

Over 70% of Pakistan's textile industry in the northern part of the country runs on self-generated electricity from gas-based power systems.