Textile sector eager for package announcement

Also demands release of tax refunds and billions held up under policy initiatives

Our Correspondent November 30, 2016

LAHORE: Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Central Chairman Ijaz Khokhar has asked the prime minister to announce the much-awaited textile package, which was agreed between the government and all stakeholders of the textile chains to pull the value-added textile industry out of crisis.

“The cash subsidy of 8% to exporters, as was decided at the highest level and agreed by all the export industries of the country, should be given immediately and without any delay along with announcing cut in utility prices as par with the rates of regional competitors.”

Denouncing the Pakistan Apparel Forum’s ‘so-called’ Chairman Jawed Bilwani, Khokhar said that Pakistan needs to follow the Indian textile policy, which has already given a lot of cash incentives and rebates along with significant reduction in energy cost for the export sectors.

“PRGMEA totally disowns the Pakistan Apparel Forum as well as the recent statement of its self-proclaimed chairman because majority of the textile sector is eagerly waiting for the announcement of cash incentive package so that exports can be sustained,” Khokhar remarked.

“We also want a level playing field for local exporters in world markets as the country’s exports are on a constant decline.”

He said that the textile industry constitutes more than 60% of the country’s exports. The value-added textile sector has been providing millions of jobs to skilled and unskilled workers. However, instead of supporting export strategies of the value-added textile sector, the government now depends on raw material exporters.

It’s unfortunate that the government has not given due attention to the rising cost of utilities - a big hurdle in the way of increasing exports along with other reasons for around 10% depreciation of Euro, the chairman lamented.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2016.

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