TDAP Chief Executive S M Muneer, who is also a well-known businessman, has urged government to immediately pay sales tax refunds, which were delayed for last 2 years, to business community. This is a great hurdle in the economic growth of country. “If government pays this refund to all businessmen, they take responsibility to take export to $5 billion during this year,” he added.

He was speaking at the First International Textile Conference & Awards 2015, organised by Publicity Channel in collaboration with TDAP, Ministry of Textile, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) and Towel Manufacturers Association Pakistan (TMAP).

“Economy is now stabilizing as status of GSP Plus for Pakistan was a blessing and this will double exports in next 3 years. But the issue of sales tax refund is still there which should be addressed at priority. I salute business community for keeping wheel moving despite so many odds,” S M Muneer acknowledged.

He told that they (businessmen) can convert the mud into gold as Pakistan is very rich in natural resources. Situation is improving now but government should also support this industry, he urged.

Guest of honor, Chairman Board of Investment Dr. Miftah Ismail talked about investment prospects in textile sector and told that economy is moving forward in Pakistan. “We are included in IMF program since last one and half years and 6 reviews have been done so far very successfully. Government is doing all those tasks promised by Mian Nawaz Sharif before general elections in manifesto of Pakistan Muslim League,” he emphasized.

Pakistan was not able to enter in euro bound for 7 years but now economy is stabilized and Pakistan has already taken off on road of prosperity. Everyone now should play its part and pool his/her share. There should not be any objection on Pakistanis investment in foreign countries. Government has itself allowed cement sector to do business abroad. This all should be under legal provisions and will help economy to grow further, Dr. Miftah Ismail told.

Chairman Towel Manufacturers Association Pakistan Mehtabuddin Chawla was upset with issues of non-provision of energy and water on regular basis. “Media is also spreading wrong perceptions about Pakistan. I will request media houses to report issues on domestic television not on international TV due to which foreign buyers and investors don’t come here,” he said.

Former Advisor to Prime Minister on Textiles, Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig gave an overview of textile sector and briefed that this sector account for 55 per cent of total exports with volume of $13 million.

This sector provides 38 per cent jobs with contribution of 10 percent in GDP. “We are fourth top country in production of cotton but unfortunately share of our textile industry exports in the world is just 2 percent,” he lamented. Government should focus on industrialization as this will not only boost economy but will also create jobs.

India is offering 30 percent equity on purchase of machines for export units while rest of 70 percent amount will be paid back during 10 years with no interest. Whereas we have to pay 9 percent interest, so how can we compete in this situation,” Mehtabuddin Chawla asked.The speakers urged government to give this industry a top priority and provide gas supply first to such export units.