The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to immediately intervene in the restoration of energy, both electricity and gas, supply to the textile industry. In a statement issued on Thursday, Aptma Chairman Abdul Rahim Nasir said the Ministry of Energy has abruptly suspended gas supply to the textile sector. This disruption in gas supply coupled with a sudden drop in temperatures and high moisture in the air has led to a massive tripping of 132kV transmission lines in the industrial hubs. The unavailability of electricity and gas have choked the production activity of the textile industry, especially in Punjab and the mills have started closing down their operations at the cost of losing export orders and retrenchment of labour. Nasir said that the textile mill-owners are running from pillar to post in search of energy, while the relevant departments are inattentive to the issue, as usual; therefore, Aptma has no other option but to request the chief executive of the country for an immediate rescue. The Punjab-based industry was hit with a double whammy, i.e., increase in gas tariff from $6.5 to $9/MMBTU and outages. He lamented that the Punjab industry is being discriminated against in other provinces, which would be detrimental to the overall growth of the national economy in the long run. He said 70 per cent of the textile industry is based in Punjab and the gas suspension may bring it to a complete halt. It would also impact the country’s exports negatively, which had witnessed robust growth last year and fetched fresh investment to the sector. Meanwhile, he said, as many as 96 extension of load/new electricity connection cases of Aptma member mills are pending with the power distribution companies. Besides, there are serious power supply quality issues hindering smooth operations of the mills. However, no corrective measures have been taken, despite that the member mills have shared their interruption reports with relevant distribution companies, he said. The present tripping of the 132kV transmission line in the industrial clusters due to thick fog has added insult to injury and the Aptma members are left helpless. Nasir apprehended that the textile industry would be unable to deliver their orders, which would lead to permanent loss, as the industry would fail to honour commitments with the international buyers. He reminded that the order once lost is lost forever and it would be extremely difficult for the industry to reverse the situation. The Aptma chairman expressed the hope that the prime minister would take stock of the situation and issue directives to the relevant ministries for restoration of gas supply to the textile industry.