All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Abdul Rahim Nasir on Wednesday urged the federal government to restore gas supply to textile industry on an urgent basis. Addressing a press conference, her at APTMA House, he claimed that a loss of almost US $1b in exports has already taken place due to non-availability of gas and closure of more than 300 textile mills. APTMA North Chairman Hamid Zaman, Senior Vice Chairman Kamran Arshad and Secretary General Raza Baqir also accompanied him. Rahim Nasir said that 26pc upsurge in export of textiles during fiscal year 2021-22 was made possible only due to supply of energy at regionally competitive tariff. He added that textile industry showed exemplary performance of uplifting textile exports from US $12.5b in 2020 to almost US $20b in 2022 registering 60pc hike in exports. Rahim said exponential growth in textile sector has promoted investment of over US $5b and establishment of 100 new textile units which, when become operational, would result in fetching additional export of more than US $500m per month or US $6b per annum. He pointed out that gas supply to industry has been suspended since June 30, 2022 which has almost halted production in the whole value-added textile industry causing colossal loss to the economy. He asserted that large scale closure of mills has resulted in massive layoffs and unemployment spreading economic chaos. Rahim Nasir said that it is inexplicable that the exporting sector, which was committed to uplift textile exports to US $25b during 2022-23 and over US $2b per month, is being denied energy/gas. He said that incessant supply of gas is imperative for textile industry to maintain momentum of export. He apprehended that more than 50pc of output will be lost this month with the very high risk of losing orders on a permanent basis and diversion of buyers from Pakistan to its competitors. Zaman continued that currently textile industry is providing goods for the forthcoming Christmas and any delay in delivery schedule is fraught with losing export markets for indefinite period with little chances for revival. “If this momentum is lost due to energy supply and cost constraints, Pakistan will be forced to seek an additional US $6b in loans from abroad,” he stated. Therefore, he said, under these circumstances, the gas supply to export oriented industry may be restored immediately. Kamran Arshad, Senior Vice Chairman highlighting importance of textile sector in the mainstay of country’s economy stated that textiles have 61pc share in country’s exports and 40pc of manufacturing sector employment. Kamran Arshad urged the government for adopting correct policy and restoration of gas without any further delay.