LAHORE: The industry is incurring an annual loss of around $6 billion due to the presence of second-hand, smuggled textiles and clothing in the domestic market, said All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman S M Tanveer.
He said export figures for the financial year 2013-14 reveal that the textile industry, while consuming 3 million tons of all kinds of fibres, produced textile goods predominantly meant for exports.
Out of this quantity, textile products worth 2.5 million tons of fibre were exported in one form or the other while half a million remaining textile fibre was consumed by the domestic market.
The per capita consumption of all fibres in Pakistan is around 10 kilogrammes against an average of 13kg per capita world over.
Out of this 10kg per capita consumption, the textile industry gets a share of only 3kg per capita while rest is grabbed by second hand, smuggled and imported textiles and clothing products that have entered into the domestic market, Tanveer added.
He said a heavy influx of second-hand smuggled and clothing products is being cleared by the Customs for a price as low as for fibre or cotton.
“The idle textile capacity in Pakistan can be made operational only if the government plugs holes in the duty-free entry of textiles and clothing products.” He identified smuggling, trade through Afghan Transit Trade and personal baggage as the major sources of entry of the second hand, smuggled and imported textiles and clothing products in the domestic market.
He urged economic managers to revisit the customs policy and ensure immediate remedial measures to check entry of second hand, smuggled and imported textiles and clothing in the domestic market.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2015.
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