The textile industry in Sindh and Baluchistan is experiencing a severe crisis in gas supply, leading to the closure of numerous textile mills and a significant decline in production. Despite a 30 percent increase in gas tariff in February 2023, the shortage and disruption of gas supply persist. This situation has resulted in the closure of industries, a sharp decline in large-scale manufacturing and textile exports, and a 14 percent drop in textile exports from July 2022 to April 2023 compared to the same period the previous year. Sindh and Baluchistan, which produce 85 percent of the country’s natural gas, are being denied their rights guaranteed under Article 158 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
The Chairman of APTMA South Zone, Zahid Mazhar, demands that gas production in Sindh and Baluchistan should prioritize supplying these provinces before distributing the surplus to other provinces. The textile industry not only faces weekly gas closures but also suffers from low gas pressure throughout the week, resulting in significant production losses, de-industrialization, and unemployment. The suspension of gas supply to the Sindh-based industry, which contributes 52 percent to the country’s total exports, has led to substantial losses in foreign exchange and revenue. The Chairman urges the governments of Sindh and Baluchistan to address the gas shortage urgently, ensure continuous and uninterrupted gas supply to the industry, particularly the export-oriented sector, and prevent further closures that could have detrimental effects on Pakistan’s economy and create a law-and-order situation due to unemployment.