Mr. Zahid Mazhar, Chairman, APTMA Sindh-Balochistan Region demanded the Government of Sindh to allow the entire textile value chain to restart their production activity without any further delay otherwise the textile industry of the province would not survive and lead to total closure and massive unemployment.
In a statement issued to the press, Mr. Zahid Mazhar said that APTMA appreciates the efforts and measures taken by the Sindh Government lead by Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister Sindh to control wide spread of the virus and assure its fullest cooperation to fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.
He further said that the textile industry in the province which was allowed to resume operation recently, has already adopted all precautionary measures prescribed in the SOPs for the prevention of the spread of the virus. Mr. Zahid Mazhar said that so far the Sindh Government has given permission to those textile industries who have export orders to full fill commitments of shipment of export consignments as well as those industries having residential colonies in the premises of their factory with the strict instructions to follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) laid down by the government. However, it would have no positive impact on the economy of the province until and unless the downstream textile industry including sub-sectors of weaving, knitting, stitching, processing & garmenting which provide the intermediary materials would not be restarted to complete the business cycle of the textile export industry. In the present situation the industry is not even running at 50 percent of its capacity.
He said that in the current shape of lockdown being observed in Sindh, the industry is facing severe liquidity problem due to which the industry is not in a position to pay even the utility bills and the wages to its employees. The only solution to tackle this disastrous situation is to allow the entire business cycle of the textile industry to function across the entire value chain including its the down stream industry otherwise it would be too late to regain our export market and earn much needed foreign exchange and retain the level of employment at the position before the emergence of Coronavirus Pandemic.
Mr. Zahid Mazhar said that not allowing downstream textile industry to resume operation is resulting in drastic economic slowdown in the province. This would ultimately result in shortfall in the revenue of the province and large scale unemployment which may also create law & order situation. He reminded the Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah and the Sindh Government that the city of Karachi that makes up of about 52 percent of the country’s total exports is resulting in heavy losses which may lead to bankruptcies if it faces the current shape of lockdown situation any more. To save the city of Karachi and the province of Sindh from this alarming situation we have to adopt a smart lockdown policy allowing the complete value chain to operate after abiding the precautionary SOPs as things are getting towards normal. The world is gradually softening lockdown and the industry is getting new orders as well as revival of previous orders which were put in abeyance and got temporarily suspended after the world impose lockdown to contain Corona Virus.
Mr. Zahid Mazhar urged the Sindh government to issue directives to the concerned quarters to allow the textile industry and its allied complete supply chain to resume its operation in the larger interest of not only saving the country’s largest export oriented sector but also to save large scale employment which is the need of the hour. Let us save lives as well as livelihoods.
Forwarded for favor of publication in your esteemed newspaper / transmission.