"Massive decline in textile exports in May 2015 is alarming and this trend is likely to continue in future unless the industrial crisis would be addressed." Sohail Pasha, Chairman and Rizwan Riaz Saigal, Vice Chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) stated this while talking to newsmen here on Wednesday. They said that government's target to double textile exports appears to be a herculean task in the perspective of 5.91 percent drop in textile exports in May over the same month of previous year.
Numbers of coming months might be even worse, as the textile industry, particularly in Punjab is in grip of severe crisis. Giving details, they said that country exported textile goods worth US 1.12 billion dollars in May as compared to exports of US 1.19 billion dollars in same month of last year showing a hectic decline of 5.91 percent.
Textile exports were also down by 1.70 percent on comparison with July-May period of previous fiscal, they added. Export of value added items witnessed negative growth as cotton cloth down by 15.70 percent, knitwear 11.32 percent, bed wear 9.80 percent and towels 9.23 percent.
Mentioning the energy crisis, they said still 33 percent gas is available to industries in Punjab. Similarly, the menace of power loadshedding is plaguing the industrial sector. Textile exporters are pinpointing the root causes of industrial decline with repeated requests for necessary remedial steps, but government remained silent and no proper strategy was carved out to save textile sector from crisis, they said.
PTEA Chairman Sohail Pasha was of the view that textile exporters are working under extreme pressure. We have been forewarning the government about the fast looming crisis, but government failed to understand the gravity of the situation and no steps have so far been taken to ratify the situation. Regional rivals India, China and Bangladesh are creeping into our traditional markets throwing the Pakistani textiles out. Growing energy shortage had affected almost one-third of the country's textile manufacturing capacity and adversely hitting its reputation as a credible supply source. He said due to energy shortfall, major chunk of finance is diverted to develop energy infrastructure that has squeezed financial streams breading cash flow jerks.
Moreover, extreme cash flow crunch is shedding negative impacts on entire textile chain as around 30 percent working capital of textile exporters is already stuck-up in refund regime creating severe liquidity crunch and government is taking no steps for immediate payment of refund claims. Despite subsidizing the alternate fuels, government has increased import duty on coal rendering textile exporters unviable, he added. PTEA urged the government to take cognisance of serious matter and step up to save precious forex earning sector from disaster.