Textile industry: Governor assures millers of taking up issues with PM

Calls trust deficit between industry and policymakers worrisome

Our Correspondent March 23, 2018
The governor regretted that some of the departments were misusing their authority while dealing with the industry. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Punjab Governor Muhammad Rafique Rajwana has assured All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) members of taking up issues of the Punjab-based textile industry with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

“I fully understand your problems and will join you in getting them resolved by the federal government,” he said.

Speaking during a visit to the Aptma office on Wednesday, the governor expressed disappointment over the increasing number of closed mills and stressed that the number of new mills should go up, but it depended on creating a congenial environment.

Rajwana called trust deficit between the industry and policymakers worrisome.

Referring to the damage caused to the cotton belt by the sugar industry, he emphasised that no industry should flourish at the cost of another.

He was of the view that the textile industry should be allowed to import cotton from all sources including Afghanistan to meet the prevailing shortage.

Talking about pending sales tax refund claims, the governor regretted that some of the departments were misusing their authority while dealing with the industry.

Earlier, Aptma Chairman Aamir Fayyaz gave a detailed presentation on the existing state of affairs in the Punjab-based textile industry. He said regional competitors were ahead of Pakistan due to timely interventions by their governments.

The presentation also highlighted a huge difference between the cost of production in Pakistan and regional competitors.

He asked the government to immediately address the issue of energy cost by ensuring uniform prices, ie, electricity at Rs7 per kilowatt-hour and liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Rs600 per unit. He also sought immediate release of stuck sales tax refund claims of the industry.

Speaking on the occasion, Aptma Group Leader Gohar Ejaz suggested that a lack of trust between policymakers and the industry had hampered growth in the industrial sector.

Industrial capacity worth $4 billion had been shut in Punjab, he said, regretting the government had failed to meet its commitment to releasing the Rs180-billion incentive package.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2018.

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