The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has called for immediate intervention of the government for the release of huge amounts for its exporters stuck in refund regimes, demanding zero ratings on textile exports.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood, PTEA chairman, and Adil Tahir, vice-chairman, termed the liquidity crunch as a major hurdle for export promotion. For the past few years, the textile industry has been facing an unprecedented crisis and, consequently, sizable textile capacity had been impaired.
Textile exports in quantity and value terms have been unsuccessful in gaining momentum and have remained below the desired level.
“Now the GSP Plus status has brought hope of a significant jump in textile exports but the lack of funds could hurt the outcomes of this duty waiver relief,” they argued.
Terming the withdrawal of zero rating and imposition of 2% sales tax on supplies as detrimental to business activity, they said that the competitiveness of the textile industry has eroded against the huge incentives being provided by competing countries like China, India and Bangladesh to the industries and exporters.
“85% of textile produced is exported in various forms with only 15% left for local consumption,” said the chairman. “Therefore, zero rating of the entire value chain for the export is imperative to remain competitive in the international market.”
Mahmood claimed that the government should set its priorities and give preferential treatment to the textile sector to get full advantages of the duty waiver facility and save the industry and the economy.
Terming the GSP Plus as a golden opportunity for the textile sector, he said that this will help bring back investment in the textile industry that had shifted out of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2014.
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