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The government has taken a number of measures to safeguard the interests of the industrial sector by promoting plugging of energy wastages and encouraging captive power generation from coal in an environmental-friendly manner, sources in the Ministry of Industries told

Daily Times on Saturday.

The government has encouraged energy efficiency and conservation through energy audits by National Productivity Organisation. Commercialisation and marketing of renewable energy products like solar stoves, solar backup batteries, inverters and reverse meters, bio gas plants and micro hydel plants in collaboration with Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET), the sources maintained.

It has also encouraged energy efficiency and conservation through mass awareness among people to adopt off grid solutions for power generation by switching their industries to alternate energy resources or captive power generation, the sources maintained. The government is also making sincere efforts for promoting captive power for industry through surface coal gasifiers that produce coal gas giving cheap energy.

The officials in the Ministry of Industries said the government is rewarding winners, who are tackling energy issues by turning energy ‘threats’ into ‘opportunities’ by producing cheaper uninterrupted captive energy. The ministry is recognising two such private sector firms for innovative efforts turning ‘weaknesses’ into strengths; Mughal Steel turning lower energy round the clock from coal, which is cost and DG Cement, Nishat Group zero waste concept producing energy from rubbish.

Sources said that Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) related interventions aimed at reviving the industrial sector: The objectives targeted in PSDP 2012-13 aim at rejuvenating the industrial sector through 31 projects worth Rs 3.71 billion with focus on innovation and efficiency in industrial sector, building high skilled human capacity through targeted worker skills development programmes, and provision of technology through technological upgradation; provision of sophisticated machines, equipment, tools and spares in Common Facility Centres and machine pools; CAD/CAM facilities.

The PSDP also targeted research and development in key industrial sectors, targeted development of small and medium business entities to boost employment and reduce poverty and industrial infrastructure development through industrial parks and development of industrial estates.

The sources said that energy crises and tariff hike is causing immense problems for the industry of the country and the government should ensure uninterrupted supply of gas and electricity to run the wheel of economy.

Industrialists are confronting multiple problems in achieving production targets due to sudden gas and electricity cuts, which would certainty cast a negative impact on exports of value-added textiles, which is considered a major foreign exchange earner for the country.

An industrialist told Daily Times that the ongoing severe power crisis has resulted in shut down of 53 industrial units and also affected 1,500 units in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa only. The Punjab government has officially informed the Federal Ministry for Industries that it has shut down some industrial units but the unofficial number was much more. The textile sector is badly affected and if the ongoing process of power crises continues, there is an apprehension that it will further deteriorate the situation.

The textile industry of four districts of Faisalabad is badly affected due to load shedding and agro instrument producing industries and power looms are being closed. According to details, load shedding in Toba Tek Singh, Chiniot, Jhang and Faisalabad have resulted in shut down of 55 percent of industrial units and while all power looms are almost to be closed. Different textile mills have closed their one shift and several industries of fishing, printing, sizing and calendaring have been closed.

Performance of textile mills has also been badly affected and could not complete foreign orders, resulting in billions of rupees loss to the economy. International markets are relying on Indian traders while export of cotton yarn has already affected textile industries.

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