KARACHI: The textile sector has planned to launch a series of protests across the country on Tuesday to press the government to accept their demand for a ban on yarn exports or imposition of a 25 per cent regulatory duty.
Pakistan Apparel Forum Chairman Jawed Bilwani said that the protests were being staged to “open the government’s eyes.” He said demonstrations would be held in all major cities and all industries related to the value added textile sector have vowed to take part in Tuesday’s protests. Except for the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), one of the biggest industrial areas of the country, all three major associations would take part in the protests, he added.
KATI Chairman Razzak Hashim Paracha said that the protest called by the value added textile sector would be peaceful. “If protesters gather at some point and protest peacefully, then we have no objection,” Paracha said. “But the platform of KATI will not be used as the launching pad. It is the duty of police and law enforcers to do their homework for the protests,” he added.
Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Chairman Mohsin Ayub Mirza said that the protests would be peaceful. He censured the government’s policies on yarn exports, saying the “value added sector has been demanding the government ban yarn exports but the government supports yarn exporters.” He said the protests were being held to show the government that problems of the value added sector were severe.
“Rising prices of the raw material required by the value added sector has throttled its growth.” PRGMEA former chairman Bilal Mulla said labourers would gather at all major points of the industrial zones of Karachi to show solidarity with the value added textile sector. “It is expected that a large number of labourers will take part in the protests because hundreds have been laid off in the aftermath of the yarn crisis,” he added. The SITE Association of Industry, a big industrial zone of Karachi, released a press release on Monday asking labourers to gather at the SITE office and show solidarity with the value added textile sector.
“In view of the Tuesday’s strike call given by the value added sector, you are requested to gather at 10 am at the SITE office,” it said. The value added sector has asked the government to ban yarn exports, a basic raw material which has high demand owing to its shortage in the local and world markets.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 11th, 2010.