DNA ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday lauded the government’s move to provide facility of zero rating to the textile sector, but at the same time termed it insufficient in the current scenario.

In a statement issued here, PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal asked the government for more relaxations so that Pakistan could regain its position in the international market.

“The $14 billion textile industry which is playing a critical role in the national economy is crumbling due to multiple reasons, which warrant immediate government intervention,” he added.

He said that energy crisis, incoherent policies, regional competition, undue taxation etc. had taken a toll on this industry that provided jobs to 3.5 million people.

Mughal said that 57 percent of country’s exports were due to the textile industry; its share in manufacturing stood at 46 percent while it employed 38 percent of urban labour.

“The share of textile in the GDP is nine percent, which will shrink, creating problems for everyone including millions of farmers depending on the cotton crop,” he said, and added, “Other countries are providing subsidies to their textile sector and frequently devalue currency to get a foothold in international market which has left local sector unattractive for the investors.”

He called upon the government to review exchange and monetary policies and refund mechanism as the textile sector was awaiting refunds worth one trillion and ten billion rupees for long, resulting in severe liquidity problems.

“Around 33 percent textile mills have been closed down, depriving one million people of their jobs, and if the situation remains unchanged more bad news will follow,” Mughal warned.