LAHORE: Textile exports worth Rs 60 million for an estimated three million meters of printed cloth per day have been disrupted and 20,000 daily-wage workers have been rendered jobless since export industrial units have been closed because of gas load shedding this week in the Faisalabad district, Khurram Iftikhar, chairman, All Pakistan Cloth Exporters Association (APCEA) told Daily Times Friday.
Textile processing units in Khurrianwala were using gas for their boilers to run their printing machines and a one-time closure of a boiler led to the closure of all related machinery and the loss of all cloth mounted for printing, Mr Iftikhar said.
Usually the production of one bed sheet consignment of 4 to 12 colours at a four-colour machine needs to be passed through the machine thrice to complete the particular design, he said. But if design printing is disrupted due to a boiler shut down in the middle of the printing process, the whole cloth worth millions of rupees goes to waste, he said. Once a boiler goes cold, it requires another twelve hours to be reheated to produce the required amount of steam. And until the boiler is reheated the entire workforce is unable to work and labour and electricity charges continue to pile up.
In addition to these losses, the chemicals required for colour mixing end up being re-mixed at a very high cost, he said. The cost of production therefore doubles in the case of a gas failure and the export consignments get delayed resulting in huge losses to the exporters.
The gas load-shedding has completely cut down the production of the textile processing units and the exporters have been forced to shut shop, he said.
The temporary closure of these units, he said, has dislocated 20,000 daily wages workers, who are recruited on a temporary basis, and has resulted in a crisis of unemployment amongst the labourers.
Mr Iftikhar called upon the government to take immediate cognizance of this matter and direct gas suppliers to ensure the continuous and well-balanced supply of gas to industrial units in order to save them from huge production losses and the disruption of export consignments.