KARACHI: Despite a slight dip in overall textile exports, the knitwear garment sector has maintained a steady pace of growth in its shipments and led the sector with an increase of 16.13% in its exports for October 2018.
Pakistan’s overall textile exports were recorded at $1.13 billion in October, down 0.12% compared with $1.132 billion in the same month last year.
However, the knitwear garment sector stood on top with the highest exports in the textile chain as well as in total national exports with a growth of 16% compared with October 2017.
Knitwear garment exports grew 10.41% in July-October 2018 against the corresponding period of previous year.
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“Knitted garments have a great potential for expansion,” commented Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) Central Chairman Muhammad Jawed Bilwani.
“The knitwear garment sector can achieve new milestones and its export can be enhanced by 25% every year, provided the government gives serious consideration to the proposals sought from the sector,” he said.
The sector alone earned $2.719 billion for the country in fiscal year 2017-18, which included knitted products like hoodies, shirts, t-shirts, jerseys, pullovers, trousers, jackets, etc. The sector has ranked high in the textile group over the past three years.
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Bilwani termed it appreciable that the government was giving priority to five zero-rated export sectors - textile (including jute), carpet, leather, sports and surgical goods - and was also prioritising the export industry for the provision of uninterrupted gas supply with special tariffs, which was a longstanding demand of the PHMA. He was of the view that if the government considered the exporters’ proposals and resolved all their problems and issues, a breakthrough in exports could be easily achieved.
He called exports the lifeline that would support and strengthen the national economy. He also demanded that the government consider and set separate electricity tariffs for the five zero-rated industries and introduce uniform tariffs for water consumption as well. Currently, water tariffs for the industries in Karachi were the highest when compared with other regions and provinces.
Meanwhile, the PHMA has written a letter to the finance minister, requesting him to register all export-oriented textile manufacturers as zero-rated industries so that they could avail themselves of the facilities. “Many small and medium export-oriented industries are not registered as zero-rated in utility bills due to cumbersome tax payment procedures as they first pay sales tax and then apply for tax refund,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2018.
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