The delay in the textile policy for 2014-19 reflects the lack of interest of the federal government in promoting and protecting the industry, said All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Chairman SM Tanveer.
Though eight months have passed in the current fiscal year, the government still has not announced the policy, he said while briefing the media on Tuesday. The delay suggests that the present government is no different from the previous one, which had allocated Rs180 billion in the Textile Policy 2009-14, but disbursed only Rs28 billion, constituting only 15% of the allocation.
Tanveer cited the example of India and Bangladesh that had announced textile policies and registered growth of 94% and 160% respectively in exports over the 2008-2013 period against merely 22% for Pakistan during 2009-14.
World’s textile exports also grew 45% on an average during the same period.
Calling the federal textile ministry a ‘toothless’ and ‘failed’ ministry, Tanveer said an undue delay in the policy has pushed Pakistan far behind its regional competitors.
“Today, 30% of the industry’s capacity is lying unutilised, exports are stagnant and no new investment has taken place since 2006,” he remarked. He lamented that the government had no focus on the growth of textile industry and the policy, therefore, has been delayed for the past eight months.
The proposed policy allocates Rs60 billion, which the industry terms meagre and asks the government to enhance it to Rs200 billion at least.
They were of the view that the goals set in the policy like doubling textile exports, $1 billion investment per annum, employment creation and availability of cotton and man-made fibre were not possible to meet with such a small allocation.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2015.
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