In response to the complaints of industrialists regarding national crises, the Punjab governor and the federal minister for textile industry said that the government would leave no stone unturned to put the textile sector back on track.

“GSP Plus status will cause a huge difference with regard to the quality of life of the textile workers in Pakistan as it will create at least one million jobs and boost the country’s exports,” Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, the governor, said addressing the members of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association here on Tuesday.

He said that the government would extend full support and assistance for the strengthening of industrial sector as its top priority. “The industrial sector is facing multiple problems. As a result, the productivity is decreasing day by day. We are working on a war footing to bridge the huge gap between demand and supply and comprehensive strategy to overcome the energy challenges has been chalked out. With support of the masses, we will overcome the challenges being faced by the country,” he said.

He added that future of Pakistan is very bright and all resources would be mobilised for the national progress. The government was serving the masses with zeal and moral obligation and will continue the same spirit, he added.

Federal Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi, speaking on the occasion, said that the government was fully aware of the problems hindering the textile sector. “Energy crisis is the major hurdle in progress and without tackling this; textile industry could not get momentum. The government is devising a comprehensive strategy to counter the issue not only to resume the industrial pace but also to save livelihood of millions of workers,” he said.

He said that textile ministry would make an all-out effort for immediate payment of pending refund claims of textile exporters to ease their financial stress. All stakeholders will be taken on board while making policies directly or indirectly influencing textile industry especially its value addition sector.

Earlier, newly elected PTEA Chairman Sohail Pasha, addressing the members, said that the Pakistani exports were under pressure due to prevailing economic crisis in the country. Persistently worsening law and order, high bank mark up rate and the energy crisis are badly affecting the industrial and trade activities, the productivity output and the situation is turning from bad to worse, he said.

He emphasised the unity of textile sector to force the government to focus on consolidation, strengthening of economy and uplifting of the industrial productivity in the country. He said that billions of rupees of value added textile exporters’ refunds in sales tax and duty drawback regime are stuck up with the government departments that are creating liquidity crunch, hampering the export growth and turnover.

“In the prevailing economic condition, rising cost of production is the core issue for textile exporters and shortage of energy is adding fuel to the fire,” he said. “The PTEA will continue the momentum of efforts for uninterrupted supply of gas and electricity for textile industry.”

PTEA Chairman Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood presenting annual report of the association said that the textile exports and the industry remained under continuous stress due to severe energy crisis and uncertain economic conditions during the year.

“Economic meltdown and financial crisis cast long shadows on Pakistan economy. Drastic loadshedding of gas and electricity, and extra ordinary increase in their prices increased the cost of production making Pakistani exports uncompetitive,” he said.

He thanked the governor and the minister for their participation in the meeting. He congratulated the newly elected office bearers and wished them success during their tenure. Later, the governor presented PTEA export excellence awards to top ten textiles in recognition of their outstanding performance.