LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) on Tuesday said the proposed 10-hour load shedding during Ramadan would force the industry to close down one shift and lay off tens and thousands of workers across the province of Punjab. “This would be unfair to the labourers ahead of Ramadan and no one would prefer to lay them off,” said Syed Ali Ahsan, acting chairman of APTMA’s Punjab wing. He said the total load of textile units on independent feeders was hardly 120–150 megawatts, which could easily be managed by the Ministry of Water and Power in order to ensure smooth operations of basic textile to produce material for the value added textile industry. Ahsan said all the textile units dependent on independent feeders were located in Punjab, where the textile workers had witnessed hardships due to unprecedented energy shortage since November 2007. “These units have no alternative arrangements to run smoothly. Furthermore, the housing colonies of textile workers are also within the mills’ premises and a supply cut to the workers residents during Ramadan would add to the miseries of textile workers and their families.” He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced exemption in September last year and it was up to the policymakers to honour the prime minister’s words.