lahore - Federal Secretary Ministry of Textile Industry, Rukhsana Shah on Saturday said that government was determined to facilitate hand-knotted carpet industry to enhance trade volume for economic stability and growth.
Talking to the members of Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers & Exporters Association along with the delegation of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) who visited PCMEA office on Saturday, she said that the government was going to announce the new textile policy 2014-19, incorporating the major issues of carpet industry, to focus on infrastructural development, research, skill development and to enhance the product development centres in the country.
Rukhsana said that the govt believes on consultation process to get onboard all the stakeholders to evolve consensus on coming textile policy, including the carpet sector which is also part of textile ministry. She said that shortage of skilled manpower and practicing old methods in carpet industry was main barrier to achieve targets and enhance trade volume at international markets.
Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers & Exporters Association central chairman Major (r) Akhtar Nazir Khan Cooki and vice chairman (NZ) Kamran Razi, on this occasion, asked the secretary textile ministry of PCMEA representation in TDAP as well as on the Board of Export Development Funds, because the hand knotted carpet industry is one of the most important export-oriented industry of Pakistan. Mr. Cooki made it clear that both the textile and carpet sectors are absolutely different in their natures, hence the government should deal with these industries separately. He observed that almost 100% of carpets produced in Pakistan are exported, providing around 600% value addition to our products, but has no representation in EDF Board despite significant contribution in this fund of exporters. He demanded 10 per cent rebate on carpet export in the aftermath of rupee appreciation by over 10 per cent, causing loss to manufacturers.
The PCMEA North Zone Vice Chairman Kamran Razi said that the hand knotted carpet sector represents small Industry locating in the remotest and most poverty stricken areas of Pakistan. A significant ratio of working capital of carpet exporters is already stuck-up in refund regime at a time when the carpet exports have already declined to $120 million from $300 million. Kamran Razi, raising the demand of zero rating, said the government should bring in necessary reforms and give special status to export-oriented carpet industry allowing zero-rating facility. Being mainstay of the economy and major stakeholder in forex earnings, export-oriented carpet sector should be given special status, they demanded.
FAO manager for the USAID-funded project, David Doolan, briefed the PCMEA members about the mechanical sheep shearing skills by Baloch farmers trained under the Balochistan Agriculture Project. He said the use of modern shearing equipment cut down the shearing time six-folds and produced higher quality wool. He said that improved shearing processes would enable farmers to sell wool to better-paying markets and earn more income.