LAHORE: After the provision of competitive energy rates by the PTI government, the textile sector is ready to establish 100 more textile mills in Punjab that will create three million jobs, said Patron-in-Chief All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Gohar Ejaz during a press conference on the occasion of announcing the unprecedented 12th consecutive victory in the annual elections for 2021-22 of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) by winning all seats both at centre as well as zonal levels.
He announced nomination of Abdul Rahim Nasir for the office of Central Chairman Aptma.
On this occasion, he also dilated upon the strengths of the textile industry in the country, especially despite confronting the successive waves of Covid-19.
According to him, the textile exports have registered an impressive growth of 23 percent to $15.4 billion in fiscal year 2020-21.
He said a drop in the Covid-19 cases in Pakistan and the policy of smart lockdown helped in revival of textile industry and boosting up export figures. He hoped that exports would record impressive growth this year due to pro-industry approach of the government and ease in doing business.
Gohar continued that the industry would never disappoint the government in its efforts of enhancing exports by meeting the textile export target of $20 billion for the current fiscal year and earning precious foreign exchange for the country, creating jobs and attracting new investment in the sector.
He said that textile industry was waiting for the final approval of a new five-year textile policy to facilitate setting up of another 100 textile mills and doubling the country's exports.
He said the industry was planning to invest in the downstream to increase exports of the country and expand employment opportunities.
Gohar further stated that it was highly encouraging that about 70 percent of textile exports from Pakistan were from value-added sector. He hoped that the expected investment of $3 billion in value-added segments of textile industry would fetch additional export earnings of about $6 billion and three million additional jobs.
He appreciated the government for supporting the industry during the spread of Covid-19 and speedy payment of sales tax refunds through the Federal Board of Revenue.
He also lauded the role of State Bank of Pakistan for extending financial support to the industry in an extraordinary situation that helped the industry to regain strength.
Gohar has also appreciated the government for continuation of Regionally Competitive Energy Tariff of electricity at 9 cents per kWh and gas at $6.5 per MMBTU during the fiscal year 2021-22. He expressed confidence that with incessant availability of energy and raw materials at regionally competitive rates, industry would put its best to achieve the lofty target of exports for the current year.
Abdul Rahim Nasir speaking on the occasion presented a blue print of his vision for increasing exports and thanked the leadership for showing their confidence towards him and other elected members.
He also assured members of the Association to put his best to protect the economic interests of the country in general and textile industry in particular.
Earlier, according to the results announced by Muhammad Raza Baqir, Secretary General Aptma in a press conference Hamid Zaman has been elected unopposed as Chairman Northern Zone, followed by Kamran Arshad as Senior Vice Chairman, Khawaja Mouhammad Anees as Vice Chairman and Asad Shafi as Treasurer. In the Zonal Management Committee Abdullah Amir Fazal, Ahmad Bin Shahid, Basit Mansoor Azhar, Danish Aslam, Ismail Farid Sheikh, Muhammad Haseeb, Muhammad Siddique and Khawaja Muhammad Mohsin Masood have been elected as Members for a term of two years.
In the Executive Committee of Aptma Pakistan, Abdul Rahim Nasir, Ahmad Shafi, Bilal Sharif, Hussain Ahmad Fazal, Irfan Ahmed, Syed Omar Shah and Aamir Sheikh have been elected as members from the North Zone and Asif Inam, Tariq Saud, Moazzam Ajaz Saya, Muhammad Yasin Siddik and Afzal Umer have been elected from the South. Central Executive Committee will meet in mid September to elect office-bearers for the year 2021-22.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021