Gas supply to around 200 textile mills in the northern part of Pakistan was halted last Saturday for annual maintenance work in the country, with more disruptions ahead.

According to gas company authorities, the gas fields will remain closed from 11-27 October for annual maintenance work, resulting in 10-30% less gas supply for this time.

Chairman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Punjab, Akber Sheikh told just-style that the textile industry in Punjab has been facing a severe energy problem since Saturday due to the gas disconnection.

The chairman said that Punjab represents 70% of the country's total textile exports and that the closure of gas connection for two weeks would result in an immediate loss of US$300m in textile exports.

Hundreds of textile workers in Faisalabad held a rally against the cuts on Monday, bearing slogans against the power companies involved.

By Ahmed Abdullah.