Wednesday, 10 February 2016
While exports of the country continue to suffer and exporters are crying for some compensatory measures, government does not seem to be bothered about the deteriorating situation on this front. Chairman Pakistan Apparel Forum Javed Balwani and Chief Co-ordinator of Pakistan Readymade Garments Association Ejaz Khokhar told
that "we are struggling against both internal and external factors and recent gain of dollar against Euro has been a blow to Pakistan's exports to EU countries." According to them, Pakistan's exports to EU countries are 60 percent in euros and 40 percent in dollars. As such, a strong dollar vis-à-vis euro does negatively impact on 40 percent of country's exports. They also revealed that in a meeting the Prime Minister had assured them to provide a level playing field against regional countries and resolve their problems in a week's time about six months ago but since then not a single issue had been addressed. There was a potential to increase exports of apparel sector to dollar 7 billion from existing level of dollar 4.5 billion if the industry was provided a level playing field. Khokhar attributed overvalued exchange rate, non-serious attitude of the government towards textile exports, liquidity problems owing to blockage of refunds by the FBR and high input costs as the primary factors for the loss of competitive edge of textile industry. Exporters had also lost credibility as reliable suppliers because the industry had been unable to deliver orders on time due to energy crisis. The government had been requested time and again to ensure supply of gas to the processing mills to help exporters to meet the orders but it was of no avail. Balwani also accused the government of having no realisation that Pakistani exports had suffered a decline of dollar 1.75 billion in the last six months. A lack of seriousness on the matter was evident from the fact that there was no minister of textile industry who could listen to the genuine grievances of an industry which contributes about 57 percent to total exports of the country.