LAHORE: Mian Manzoor Wattoo, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab chapter president, has urged the government to improve gas and electricity supply to textile sector, which is the biggest contributor to enhancing exports and earning foreign exchange, in order to improve its productivity.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the PPP leader said that he supported the strike call given by All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) because crippling outages of gas and electricity had hampered the productivity of the sector.
He said that the leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) used to make tall claims during electioneering regarding fixing the energy crisis. He said that duration of power outages was eight to 12 hours in urban areas and up to 18 hours in rural areas even at the commencement of the summer season.
He recalled that the PML-N leadership, especially Shahbaz Sharif, used to mobilise the people to take them to the street to protest power outages during the PPP-led government. The situation has gone from bad to worse; therefore, Shahbaz Sharif must explain to the people as to why the PML-N government has failed to overcome outages, Wattoo added.
A former Punjab chief minister, Wattoo regretted that the government would not be able to capitalise on the benefits of GSP (Generalised System of Preference) Plus facility due to acute shortage of energy. He said that the European Union extended this facility to Pakistan due to the hectic diplomatic efforts of the PPP government, which had signed agreements to qualify for availing the facility.
The PPP Punjab president said that indifference of the government would have serious social and economic repercussions for the people because textile sector was agro-based industry and its boom can only bring about huge prosperity.
He said that international market was highly competitive and unforgiving; therefore, tardiness on the part of the government would destroy the economy.