LAHORE - With a view to open new avenues for the garment industry to collaborate with international buyers and leading brands, a high-powered delegation of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufactures and Exporters Association has attended 34th IAF World Fashion Convention, held on Oct 9-10 in Maastricht, Netherlands, where they held series of successful meetings with Centre for the promotion of imports from developing countries (CBI).

PRGMEA Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar said that the delegation also had meetings with House of Denim, Amsterdam Fashion Institute and with HOGIAF, which is the largest trade organisation of Dutch Entrepreneurs.

PRGMEA team included central chairman Mubashar Naseer Butt, former SVC Sheikh Luqman Amin, Sohail Afzal Sheikh, Sajid Saleem Minhas, and Javed Iqbal Bhatti etc. On this occasion, PRGMEA also gave a presentation on Pakistan and shown a documentary on Pakistan that it was a thriving country for creating awareness about the potential of Pakistan as production hub of textile items especially garments, he added. The importance of mega CPEC project was also highlighted in the convention aimed at creating awareness about the impacts on development prosperity not only of Pakistan but also in the region.

Ijaz Khokhar said that the International Apparel Federation (IAF) is the only global federation of its kind representing apparel associations from 60 countries representing over 150,000 companies.

He said that the MODINT- the Dutch Association for the fashion and textile industries- has about 600 members who have a cumulative annual turnover of about 9 billion Euros. The IAF Convention caters to apparel industry leaders from across the supply chain from all countries. The Convention is a unique opportunity to gain the insights necessary to understand where our industry is heading he added.

The PRGMEA chief coordinator added that IAF World Fashion Convention helped Pakistani delegation develop direct interaction with international business tycoons and delegates. PRGMEA is making efforts for bringing big boom in export garments, he said and added the IAF Convention has surely opened new vistas of further development of the domestic industry and helped in bringing innovation in products.

Central Chairman Mubashar Butt stated that value-added garments sector is major tax payer, largest employment generator in whole textile chain and exporting up to $5.5 billion products while the sector has a huge scope of expansion. He said textile value-added garments sector had shown growth of 11.22 percent in 2017-18 despite the internal and external challenges.

He said PRGMEA was committed to increase exports of value added garments sector but it needs a level-playing field as par the regional competitors. “We will be able to compete in international market and garment export could fetch $6 billion dollars in one year.”

He said that strenuous efforts would be made to motivate the participants of IAF World Fashion Convention that they should come forward and invest in mega project of CPEC.














PIAF wants probe into massive slide of rupee





Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) newly-elected chairman Mian Nauman Kabir has demanded a high-level probe into massive devaluation of local currency by over Rs10 in a single day. He also demanded the State Bank to identify the reasons and share the findings with the business community. He said that Pak rupee has weakened by around Rs22 against the dollar from June 1, 2018. The rupee slide has resulted in around Rs 2,200 billion increase in the country’s debt.

The PIAF chairman, while issuing a statement along with senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed and vice chairman Javed Iqbal Siddiqui, was of the view that the sharp downfall in the rupee value had not only disturbed almost all sectors of the economy but also brought a new wave of price spiral that would not die down despite dollar’s retreat.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that the illegal international transactions in dollar-denominations via Dubai are creating shortage of dollars in the Pakistani open market. The PIAF office bearers appealed the government to direct the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA), Intelligence Bureau, Customs Intelligence and the State Bank of Pakistan to keep strict vigilance to control currency and bullion smuggling. They urged the SBP to immediately take notice of the situation which is causing panic in the currency market.

“10 rupees increase in dollar price in a single day was an unusual phenomenon for a country like Pakistan as the mafia involved in this affair made billions of rupees in a single day while on the other hand those who bought the greenback to fulfill their foreign commitments suffered a great loss.” Chairman PIAF urged the government to take action against shortage of dollar in local market, besides controlling surge of dollar against rupee. PIAF Chairman said the local currency depreciation has inflicted heavy losses on the national economy.

Chairman PIAF said that depreciation valuation of one rupee against the dollar increases external debt by Rs100 billion. He added the implications of depreciation are very serious on the budget deficit, inflation and on cost of doing business. He stated that it is too early to estimate the positive impact of rupee devaluation on exports as export orders will take longer time to materialize.


NHA likely to get

Rs12 billion in few days





Officials of Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms on Thursday informed the Senate Standing Committee on Communication that an amount of Rs12 billion had been approved for National Highways Authority against a request of Rs22 billion from PSDP 2018-19.

While explaining a delay of 4 months in releasing the PSDP funds for the NHA, the officials said that authorisation of funds was hindered due to lack of administrative approvals for some of the projects and a difference of allocations in green and pink books.

They, however, assured the parliamentary body that the ministry would approve around Rs12 billion for the first quarter in few days and would send the file to Finance Division for further necessary action. Senior officers of the Finance Division present in the meeting also assured that the funds would be released within 72 hours after receiving approval from the MPD&R.

There has been no release for NHA against its ongoing and new schemes from already allocated Rs185.197 billion budget for year 2018-19 so far, which is severely harming the pace of projects whereas the cost of respective projects has also been increasing with each passing day.

Meanwhile, matters relating to establishment, operation and management of toll plazas and weigh stations along the NHA network were also discussed. High ups of the NHA and National Highway and Motorway Police (NH&MP) were at odd on exact number of weigh stations under the control of their respective organisations. A heated debate was witnessed at a point, when a senior officer of the NH&MP contradicted a claim of Member Finance NHA that fine collection at 90 percent weighs stations across the country was being made through Motorway Police.

Member Finance NHA was responding to an allegation regarding bribe collection from drivers of heavy vehicles for undue favours. He told the committee that it was apparently not possible because the fine amount was being collected by the NH&MP on all points except few in the country.

However, a senior officer of the NH&MP confronted the claim and said that according to his knowledge, there were only 5 to 6 weigh stations where Motorway Police was collecting fine and there was no deployment on rest of the points.

The committee chairman asked the DIG to cross check the fact and reply back, who reaffirmed its stance after verifying it to the department. The lawmakers lambasted Member Finance NHA for misguiding the committee but he stood with his claim as well.

Chairmen of the Committee Senator HidayatUllah directed a joint secretary of the Ministry of Communication to get the details from both the organisations in writing and report back to the committee in its next meeting.

The committee was also informed that 509 officers in grade 17 to 22 were serving in the NHA. The committee was briefed about the details of vehicles and expenditures incurred on them during the last two years.

The Committee met on Thursday with Senator Hidayat Ullah in the chair, which was attended by senators Yousaf Badini, Dr Ashok Kumar, Usman Khan Kakar, Islamuddin Shaikh, Liaqat Khan Tarakai and Fida Muhammad. Federal Secretary Communications Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Chairman NHA Jawwad Rafique Malik and senior officers from Ministry of Communication and its attached departments were also in attendance.