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KARACHI: Score of value-added textile associations on Wednesday blamed the PDM government for the present ‘historic’ economic woes in the country, which they said, is also responsible for the exports fall.

The prime minister has cancelled his four scheduled meetings with the exporters, several representatives of the textile associations told a joint press conference at the PHMA House, alleging that the PDM government has proved itself as an anti-export and anti-economy rule.

They said that the government’s economic team has completely neglected the country’s export sectors, as the value-added textile industry stands on the brink of a fall. They held the coalition rule of PDM backed by 15 political parties for the country’s prevailing economic ills.

Pakistan is confronting the most disastrous economic turmoil in the history, they said and criticized the government for not holding up its responsibility to revive the economy.

Besides the PDM collation, they said that all other political parties, which are silently supporting the present government, should be held equally responsible for the financial chaos.

The country’s exports sector industries are highly disappointed as seeing the government’s ‘purposeful negligence’ to destroy economy and spread anarchy for a kind of a “political revenge”, they were of the view.

The value-added textile export industries are deeply shocked and completely disappointed with the present government for its inattention, non-seriousness and indecisiveness and lack of productive vision and direction to take out the country from the severest ever historical economic crisis, they added.

In the wake of continuing economic crises and unresolved problems, industries have been pushed to closedown and layoffs of seven million industrial workforce including four million is the textile sector, they said.

Textile and other exports have faced a sharp decline, which is expected to fall further to the lowest ebb with the country’s reserves to the extreme dangerous levels, they warned. They proposed that the government can overcome the present dollar crisis through a promotion of exports.

The industrial sector has reached the verge of a closure with many manufacturing units have already shut down their operations, besides several exporters are planning to relocate their factories aboard, they said.

They pointed out that the country also saw a huge capital flight recently to the UAE by the disappointed Pakistanis to find a peace of mind with chances of building companies and receive golden visas.

They claimed that the export industries have been facing extreme liquidity crunch after the present government held back all the sales tax refunds, which is worth billion of rupees. As per an estimate about 60 percent of exporters’ liquidity has been stuck, they added.

The FBR has issued STGO to cause further disruption in processing of sales tax claims without the consultation and assent of the stakeholder associations, they said.

The newly introduced STGO will defer the sales tax claims of exporters with involving the FBR officials, which they feared, will again open the floodgates of corruption.

Industries are under extreme financial stress and cannot operate in full swing because of the high cost of manufacturing, they said. They asked the government that what steps it took to increase the exports so far.

The exporters also asked the government to pronounce its policy clearly whether or not it is going to support the industrial sector amid growing economic problems.

Textile holds the major share of more than 60 percent in the national exports which has declined 29 percent on a yearly basis in Feb 2023 to $487 million. From July 2022 to Feb 2023, the total textile export decreased 11 percent to $1.35 billion, they said.

The ever-increasing liquidity pressure with other problems has ruined the viability for exporters to operate their industries, they said adding that the prevailing cost of manufacturing is the highest in the region.

Duty Drawback on Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL), which they called, an active ingredient of the Textile Policy has also been previously suspended, they complained. They said that the export industry is compelled to procure costly inputs, which has left its output unviable on the world markets.

Those who spoke and attended the event included Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, Chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum, Muhammad Babar Khan, Chairman PHMA, Khizer Mehboob, Chairman PHMA South Zone, Altaf Hussain, Senior Vice Chairman PHMA South Zone, Naseer Butt, Chairman PHMA North Zone, Amjad Khawaja, Senior Vice Chairman North Zone and Khawaja Musharraf, Vice Chairman PHMA North Zone.

Besides, Rafiq Godil, Chairman, Pakistan Knitwear and Sweater Exporters Association, Mubasher Butt, Chairman, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association, Ijaz Khokhar, Former Chairman PRGMEA, Aasim Shah, Chairman, All Pakistan Bedwear Upholstery Manufacturers Association, Khawaja Usman, Chairman, Pakistan Cotton Fashion Exporters Association, Abdul Samad, Former Chairman, Pakistan Cloth Merchants Association and others. Some also participated from Lahore, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Multan participated via video-link.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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