LAHORE - The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has welcomed the commitment of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to abolish all duties on cotton yarn import to encourage value-addition, hoping the decision will be implemented at the earliest to provide level-playing to the value-added textile sector.

“The Prime Minister, in a recent meeting with PRGMEA, has assured us to pass directives to the Textile Division of Commerce Ministry to move a summary to the ECC for the removal of all duties and taxes on import of cotton yarn ,” said PRGMEA chief coordinator Ijaz Khokhar in a statement issued here on Tuesday.

He said “we are hopeful that the premier will fulfill his promise of addressing all issues of apparel sector on priority basis.” He said that the PRGMEA had requested the PM during his visit to the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry to abolish all duties on cotton yarn import to reduce cost of doing business and bridge the gap between production and consumption. During the meeting, the Premier was also urged to restore role of industrial associations in disbursement of duty drawback under revised PM Package to ensure transparency.

“In the wake of productive and contributory services, the role of associations must remain there in the DDT Order 2017-18. We demand the required clause may be added to the notification No. 1(42-A)TID/17-TR-II wherein the clause mentioning Association's role was omitted.”

He said that trade associations have always played positive and active role in implementing government policies. The PM on this occasion also appreciated the transparent and prudent role of trade bodies in implementation of export promotion initiatives without allowing corruption or undue influence from any side, Ijaz Khokhar added.

PRGMEA chief coordinator said that due to lack of coordination textile policies were not being implemented in true spirit. That’s why export results are not achieved. Therefore, PRGMEA suggested the Prime Minster to take the ownership of Pakistan exports and hold quarterly meeting in this regard. He also suggested the PM to establish an ‘Aggressive Marketing Plan’ for garment export to gain the maximum benefit of GSP+ status.

PRGMEA senior vice chairman Sheikh Luqman Amin said that the apparel sector lies at the apex of the textile value chain starting from cotton and synthetic fibers. It is the least energy and capital-intensive industry and playing a pivotal role in foreign exchange earnings and generating large employment in the whole textile chain and exporting up to $ 5 billion textile products.