The suggestion of the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) to switch over the business towards the production of personal protection equipment (PPE) is a wise one. Materialising the idea will be a practical show of improvising and adapting according to the needs of the hour and overcoming the financial difficulties Pakistan’s garments industry is facing due to COVID-19. The most obvious benefit of switching to production of PPE is the possibility of earning thick foreign exchange.

Besides, the global demand for protection kits, including masks is at its peak. The government must do all that is necessary for facilitating the garments industry so that it can meet the global demands. No bureaucratic delays should stand in the way of the suggestion of the PRGMEA.

Moreover, time is of the essence. Pakistan is a bit behind other competitor countries like India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, to name a few. Today, when the global economy has come to a halt, our textile sector can play a critical role in keeping our economy afloat, if nothing else. The government must give a hearing ear to the idea of the PRGMEA so that the Pakistani manufacturers can obtain their due share in meeting the global demand of the protection kits. As the textile industry is reopening in Punjab, it is the best opportunity that the government can exploit. Pakistan has the entire necessary establishment available in this regard.

Apart from grabbing foreign reserves, shifting to production of these items will also keep hundreds of thousands of stoves burning. Let the bureaucratic delays not snatch this opportunity away from Pakistan. The pandemic has already altered states’ thinking; countries are spending more on healthcare now and will continue doing so, this industry will continue to sell in the future. Hence, it is needless to emphasise why the government must take the proposition of the association seriously.