Pakistan Observer

Textile industry of Pakistan worst hit by power cuts

Ismat Sabir

Sunday, December 16, 2012 - THE energy crisis has forced the textile mills to close their units, especially in Punjab the industry is under severe pressure. Chairman APTMA Punjab, Shahzad Ali Khan, said daily electricity load shedding has increased to 12 hours. Besides, gas supply to the industry has also reduced to 3 days a week, which is likely to be further rose and makes the situation more miserable from next week. Electricity crisis has reached to its highest level, hitting hard to the textile industrial potential that is earning $12 billion per annum besides providing jobs to about 10 million people of people.

He said about 70 percent of textile industry in Punjab has been affected despite Ministry of Water and Power has the capacity of generating 18,000MW, out of which 6,000MW is Hydel and 12,000MW is thermal generation. The total demand of electricity in the country is 11,000MW, which can easily be met only by thermal generation. Total load of textile industry on LESCO system is 550MW per day out of which only 300MW per day is being supplied.

As regards gas supply, the industry has faced load shedding for 77 days in 2008-09, 95 days in 2009-10, 136 days in 2010-11, 185 days in 2011-12 and 62 days in 2012-13, until 10th of December, the chairman said. Aptma said so far, one third capacity has been closed down and another 50 percent would be closed in near future, due to electricity and gas shortage.

Gohar Ejaz said the Aptma members are trying their best not to close their units. Ahsan Bashir said the government has proved time and again that it was functioning with pro-industry approach and expressed the hope that sanity would prevail ahead and no one would be allowed to close the industry for even a single day.

Pakistani textile sector is competing in the region and trying to get maximum share of the Chinese textile market in the future. Dr Ikhtiar Baig said that China will be no more competing with Pakistan in cotton yarn and denim fabric; while China has emerged as one of the biggest buyers of these items from Pakistan. With increasing wages and labour costs by 20 percent per annum, China would also phase out of the garment business providing opportunity to Pakistan and other countries in the region to get their market share.

In future China would be focusing on hitech sectors, like Japan and Korea. The Federal Advisor was optimistic for the enhancement of textile exports due to EU allowing Pakistan duty free market access to the textile products bringing Pakistan at par with Bangladesh.

A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibers of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, or pressing fibers together.


Textiles have an assortment of uses, the most common of which are for clothing and containers such as bags and baskets. In the household, they are used in carpeting, upholstered furnishings, window shades, towels, covering for tables, beds, and other flat surfaces, and in art. In the workplace, they are used in industrial and scientific processes such as filtering.

Miscellaneous uses include flags, backpacks, tents, nets, cleaning devices such as handkerchiefs and rags, transportation devices such as balloons, kites, sails, and parachutes, in addition to strengthening in composite materials such as fiberglass and industrial geotextiles. Children uses textiles to make collage uniform, sew quilt and toys.


Textiles can be made from many materials that come from four main sources: animal (wool, silk), plant (cotton, flax, jute), mineral (asbestos, glass fiber), and synthetic (nylon, polyester, acrylic). In the past, all textiles were made from natural fibres, including plant, animal, and mineral sources. In the 20th century, these were supplemented by artificial fibers made from petroleum.

The textile industry is primarily concerned with the production of yarn, and cloth and the subsequent design or manufacture of clothing and their distribution. The industry can broadly be divided in two divisions, a large scale organized sector and a cottage and small scale sector.

The different sectors textiles are:


Most of the spinning units are operating in organized sector with in house weaving, dying and finishing facilities.


It comprises of small and medium sized entities and working in unorganized, except a few organized larger units.


The processing sector, comprising dyeing, printing and finishing sub-sectors, only a part of this sector is able to process large quantities.


The printing sector consists of overall processing followed by textile dyeing and fabric bleaching.

Garment Manufacturing

The garments manufacturing segment generates the highest employment within the textile value chain. Over 75pc of the units are small sized.


The knitwear units mostly are operating as integrated units, i.e. knitting + processing+ making up facilities.

Filament Yarn Manufacturing

Filament yarn consists of filament fibers, very long continuous Fibers, either twisted together or only grouped together.

Silk is a natural filament and synthetic filament yarns are used to produce silk, like effects. The Synthetic filament yarn manufacturing industry picked up momentum during 5th Five Year Plan when demand raised and hence imports increased and private sector was permitted to make feasible investment in the rising market conditions.

Presently, three kinds of filament yarn are manufactured locally: There are 6 units in the country have a capacity of 55851 M. Ton polyester filament yarn.

Art Silk and Synthetic Weaving Industry

Artificial silk or, in textile terminology, art silk is a synthetic manufactured fiber which resembles silk but costs less to produce. Art silk is just a synonym for rayon. Art Silk and Synthetic Weaving Industry has developed over the time on cottage based Power Looms units comprising of 8 to 10 looms spread all over the country.
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