The Standing Committee on Textile of the Senate chairman Mohsin Aziz has said that Senate will raise the issue of restoration of viability of textile industry on Monday (today) while the committee has already sent its recommendations to the government to facilitate the sector.

He said that the leadership of APTMA had made a detailed presentation on the tariff, tax and investment related issues confronting the viability of the industry to the Standing Committee on Textile of the Senate. The Standing Committee agreed that the textile mills are being closed down due to the wrong policies of the government.

Mohsin Aziz said that the Senate Standing Committee has sought special electricity tariff for the export-oriented textile industry operating on the independent feeders with zero line losses, arguing that only a regionally competitive electricity tariff could save the textile industry ahead. He added that the committee has also suggested the zero rating regime for the textile exporters in line with the WTO laws. He pointed out that the high cost of doing business has halted the investment prospects in the textile industry.

He said the textile millers were unable to bear this burden and compete in the region. “The federal finance minister has also agreed that the textile industry has become uncompetitive in the region.”

He said that on Monday the Senate would be told that Pakistan textile industry has registered a growth of merely 22 percent during last five years, which is even less than the world average increase of 44 percent. He said the textile exports have increased by 230 percent in Vietnam, 160 percent in Bangladesh, 97 percent in China and 94 percent in India during 2006 – 2013.

He said the viability of the textile industry has been challenged because of the undue burden and jobs of 15 million workers are at stake. 

The government has burdened the textile industry with Rs38 billion gas infrastructure development cess, Rs78 billion electricity surcharge and Rs65 billion innovative taxes. The total impact of this burden comes around Rs157 billion per annum, which is 12 percent of the sales of the industry.

Its to be noted that four committees have been constituted to tackle the issues relating to the ministry of commerce, ministry of water and power, ministry of oil and gas and the federal board of revenue.

Chairman APTMA S M Tanveer, along with the group leader APTMA Gohar Ejaz also held meeting with the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan to discuss the restoration of viability of the textile industry including a regionally competitive electricity tariff and zero rating of taxes on exports.

The meeting was chaired by Haroon Akhtar Khan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue. Secretary Textile, Amir Muhammad Khan Marwat, Senior officials from Ministry of Commerce, Members of FBR and other senior officers of FBR also attended the meeting. 

The representatives of the industry explained viability issues of the industry due to high inputs and tough international competition. They also raised certain issues relating to FBR which were discussed at length. Many of the issues were settled during the meeting on which the textile industry representatives expressed their satisfaction. Mr. Haroon Akhtar Khan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue, assured the industry that FBR will facilitate the industry and try its best to resolve the issues (which could not be settled during the meeting), as early as possible.