ISLAMABAD: The Textile Policy 2009-14 has failed miserably to achieve its target of doubling exports of the country’s textile industry.
According to documents, the federal cabinet approved the first-ever textile policy in August 2009. The plan comprised short-term support actions and long-term initiatives aimed at promoting value addition on a wider scale.
The cabinet also gave the go-ahead to the financial plan worth Rs188 billion, but only managed to release Rs29 billion.
When the policy was unveiled, textile exports were touching $12 billion in 2009-10. Fast forward to 2012-13, the figure went up slightly at around $13 billion. However, the shipments were nowhere near the target of $25 billion.
The textile industry has an 8% share in the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.
According to documents, it has a 53% share in exports, 40% in industrial employment and 36% in bank credit.
The Ministry of Textile Industry’s record reveals that Pakistan stands at the fourth place globally in textile production, third in consumption, third in yarn production, second in yarn exports and third in cloth production.
Sources in the ministry said the textile sector was being ignored by the authorities, who showed complete lack of interest. No reports had been prepared to highlight and discuss the shortcomings of the national textile policy and no research work was undertaken to understand why the policy did not impact textile exports much.
New policy delayed
Though the 2009-14 policy has expired, the textile ministry has not come up with a new policy. This came despite the fact that the ministry sought suggestions in meetings held in May this year for framing the 2014-19 textile policy.
The task of formulating the new policy has been given to the ministry’s research and development advisory cell.
Textile Ministry Joint Secretary Hassan Baig said the targets were missed due to the energy crisis.
He added that policy-making for a public organisation was not the job of contract employees but the responsibility fell on permanent staff of the ministry like the research and development advisory cell. He said the process of appointing a new director general for the cell would start soon.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2014.
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