LAHORE - The value-added textile industry has lauded the government for achieving the favourable support from EU’s International Trade Committee which has approved the duty-free status for Pakistan, leading to boost the exports of the value-added textile sector and create job opportunities.

The industry representatives urged the government to fulfill energy needs of the textile industry, besides controlling law and order, as the two issues have been hitting hard the Punjab-based value-added industry and GSP Plus status will be of no use in present circumstances.

Besides improving law and order, controlling terrorism and providing non-stop gas and electricity supply, the government will have to relax import policy to empower value-added textile industry to get the maximum benefit from GSP Plus Status, as the country has no raw material except cotton, they noted.  They lamented that Pakistan could utilise only three textile categories out of total 73 types relaxed by the EU countries for duty-free import from Pakistan in 2013.

With strict import policies in Pakistan, the local garment industry is not fully prepared to take advantage of duty-free access to the EU market under GSP Plus status mainly due to shortage of raw material, they added.

Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association NZ Senior Vice Chairman, Jawwad A Chaudhry, appreciated the efforts of PM Nawaz Sharif, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, Governor Ch Sarwar, State Minister for Commerce and Textile Industry Khurram Dastgir and Commerce Secretary Qasim Niaz for effective and successful diplomatic initiatives.

PRGMEA leader urged the European Parliament’s plenary session meeting during second week of December, 2013 to finally pass the resolution in favour of Pakistan which is a frontline state and ally of the US and EU in its fight against terrorism.

He said exporters from various industries in Pakistan are expecting the GSP Plus access to European markets, which promise huge potential for multiplying the country’s current exports and appealed to the authorities to comply with all the requirements of GSP Plus.

He also pointed out the condition that the export market share of any product should not exceed the 6% ceiling of import of European Union. He disclosed that most of the textile items included in the list of GSP plus items have already crossed the 6% ceiling set by the GSP plus condition.

He expressed his disappointment over the FBR delaying tactics, as no company has get refund for 2 percent sales tax on purchases of raw material for export since Feb 2013 while refund claims of billions of rupees of 2010 are also pending yet.

He said that revenue generation through taxes is not a good approach by keeping the value-added textile industry hostage.