Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has allowed the textile industry and its allied complete supply chain to resume its operations in the lager interest of saving the country's largest export oriented sector.

This was announced by chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab Adil Bashir along with chairman All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) Lala Pervez on Saturday at APTMA House.

While addressing the press conference, APTMA chairman Punjab Adil Bashir thanked Chief Minister Punjab for his support and ensured that industry would resume the operation following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the government in letter and spirit.

Adil Bashir said that a delegation of the Punjab-based textile associations had called on Chief Minister Punjab and briefed him about the measures taken by the textile industry to avoid the spread of coronavirus at factory premises.

Chief Minister Punjab has expressed his satisfaction over the arrangements and allowed the textile value chain to resumes operations throughout Punjab.

“This decision of the government would save hundreds and thousands of textile workers from layoff," Adil said.

According to him, the textile industry would follow all the SOPs in letter and spirit. The member mills of APTMA have already adopted all precautionary measures at mills during the processing of the orders on the floor by providing masks, sanitizers and other PPE to labour besides observing complete cleanliness.

He said it was a matter of great satisfaction that the Covid-19 situation was much better in Pakistan as compared to the US and Europe due to timely steps taken by the government. He said the number of confirmed cases was 18,000 while the number of deaths was 417 on Saturday, which was far less than the developed world.

He further said Prime Minister Imran Khan had also been pointing out since day one that Pakistan's economy cannot afford to keep people out of job for long. Therefore, employment generation is very essential while dealing with the pandemic.

Adil said textile industry contributed to 60 percent of the country's exports and it had already proven that precautionary measures had been fully observed during the permission granted by the government to process the semi-finished orders.

He further said textile value chain appreciated the Punjab government for realising the importance of the textile industry in terms of employment generation and its contribution to the country's exports and domestic demand. He said Punjab government had allowed reopening of the textile value chain subject to a strict observance of the SOPs, which the textile industry was already following.

Adil said the majority of the textile labour resides in labour colonies situated within the factory premises where strict compliance of SOP's could be done. He appreciated the efforts and the positive role played by the Punjab Minister for Industries and Commerce Aslam Iqbal regarding the reopening of the textile sector in the province.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020