LAHORE: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Textiles Abdul Razak Dawood has made it clear that the Commerce ministry has not withdrawn the Textile & Apparel Policy 2020-25 while the facility of Duty Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) for the textile sector will continue in future in order to increase the export of value-added textiles.
He was addressing a conference arranged by the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) here at a local hotel. Besides PRGMEA regional Chairman Sheikh Luqman Amin, the meeting was attended by PRGMEA former Chairman Mubashar Butt, Sohail Afzal Sheikh and representatives of the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA).
The PM Advisor assured the value-added textile sector’s stakeholders of raising their problems with PM Imran Khan and the federal cabinet. The adviser said the government would consider and resolve all issues that were highlighted during the meeting.
Razak Dawood said that the textile sector has been playing a major role in stabilizing the national economy. Therefore, the government was also striving hard to resolve problems of this sector on a priority basis.
The Adviser to Prime Minister, highlighting the positive outcome of the ‘Make-in-Pakistan’ policy, said that that investment of billions of rupee is in the pipeline under which new textile units are expected to be established, which will apart from enhancing export capacity are likely to create about hundreds of thousands of jobs.
He said that the government has reversed the de-industrialization process, as we are now on a path of industrial growth in Pakistan. In August 2020, the government had announced the ‘Make-in-Pakistan’ policy in order to promote export-oriented industrialization in the country.
Under the policy, the government had reduced duties on hundreds of tariff lines involving raw material for the local industry to make domestic products competitive. Abdul Razak Dawood said that diversification in exports that wasn’t registered in the past, has started taking place in the country.
The adviser said that in the last three years, the exports of non-traditional products to the traditional markets have increased significantly, as the government has geared up its endeavours to further consolidate the diversification in the exports.
He said that the increasing imports have posed a threat to the trade deficit and to this effect the government is in the process of identifying the items, of which the tariffs will be increased to discourage the imports. We have done a lot of work to fight the case of the GSP Plus facility he said and expressed the hope that Pakistan will be able to get the extension in the GSP Plus facility from the European Union.
Earlier, PRGMEA regional chairman Sheikh Luqman Amin gave a brief introduction of the value-added apparel sector, stating the PRGMEA is the largest and elected body of garments exporters, having thousands of member companies in its folds across the country, earning foreign exchange of over $3.5 billion annually for the country.
He, while representing the value-added textile industry, urged the advisor to abolish all duties and taxes, allowing duty-free import of cotton yarn which is a basic raw material of the value-added textile sector.
The participants of the meeting called upon the government to place a ban on export of cotton yarn of 30 single or below count in order to ensure availability of quality yarn to the export sector so that orders can be completed without hassle and unrest. They said the government should consider allowing import of cotton yarn from India via the Wagha border as quality yarn is not available and prices are soaring.
Likewise, the apparel industry representatives further sought freeze in the special tariffs of 7.5 cents for electricity and $6.5 for gas for at least next three years and provision of uninterrupted electricity and gas for meeting export orders.
The value-added textile sector leader said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s plans for industrialization, increasing exports, creating trade surplus, generation of employment opportunities and earning precious foreign exchange can only become possible when cotton yarn and uninterrupted supply of utilities is ensured on special tariffs.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022