LAHORE: The government is now in a position to take up the challenges faced by the textile industry and facilitate it through incentives, access to potential markets overseas and zero taxes on exports, said Federal Minister of Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan.
“I will personally pursue the case of textile industry with the authorities concerned and with the premier, but we can only provide help within the fiscal space of our economy,” Khan said while talking to members of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma).
Aptma Chairman SM Tanveer apprised the minister of the precarious condition of the industry, saying it was operating much below capacity because of a lack of global orders, the cause of which was the high cost of doing business.
Aptma Group Leader Gohar Ejaz, while briefing the minister of the incentives offered by competing economies to their textile sector, said, competitors, particularly Indians, have a much better market access and facilitations than Pakistan.
The 15% non-refundable duties the exporters are forced to pay on zero-rated exports have made Pakistan’s products uncompetitive in the global market, he added.
Khan acknowledged that the industry was in dire straits because of delayed tax refunds and policy flaws and promised a regular monthly meeting with the sector.
“The progress made on issues discussed in earlier meetings would be assessed,” he said, adding the government was negotiating free trade agreements (FTA) with Turkey, Thailand and South Korea.
He said the FTA with China was being renegotiated and claimed that the government would ensure that all FTAs are in the interest of Pakistani businesses.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2015.
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