LAHORE - All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab chairman Aamir Fayyaz has urged the government to resolve the textile industry issues relating to cotton, liquidity, competitiveness, taxes, zero-rating facility and the long term finance facility and enable the industry to undertake investment worth $1 billion per annum.

“It is highly unfortunate that $15 b export-oriented textile industry, employing 15m workforce and consuming 15m cotton bales, is being ‘strangled to death’ in Pakistan only due to the lack of focus of government and rising burden of taxes on exports,” he added.

Addressing a press conference at the APTMA Punjab office on Friday, he said Pakistan exports have nosedived by $3 billion during the financial year 2015-16, out of which a drop in textile and clothing exports was $1 billion.

He said it is worth pointing out that the textile and clothing exports of Bangladesh and Vietnam have registered an increase of $2 billion and $4 billion respectively during the same period.

He further apprehended that the exports in Pakistan would continue declining unless the cost of doing business is lowered by the government.

“The cotton production had fallen by 40 percent last year, resulting in a decline of 15 percent in sowing this year,” he said and added that the textile industry was highly dependent on imported cotton now. Therefore, duties and taxes on import of cotton would make the entire value chain uncompetitive. “This situation calls for the withdrawal of 4 percent customs duty and 5 percent sales tax on port of cotton,” he stressed.

The APTMA Punjab chief also demanded for liquidation of all the pending refunds of the textile industry to discharge liabilities and process further export orders. He said the government should also provide DLTL to all exports to mitigate the incidentals of innovative taxes and levies.

According to him, the industry cannot export the GIDC on gas and surcharges on the electricity and the prevailing odd circumstances demand their withdrawal to revive competitiveness in line with the regional competitors. “The govt should notify the NEPRA-determined tariff without the incidents of surcharges.

He lamented that the zero-rating facility was also not implemented in true letter and spirit. This situation will put the industry into a cumbersome state of affairs, therefore, the facility should be in accordance with the announcement made by the PM. He added that the govt should also allocate sufficient funds under the LTFF to propel up the prospective investors to take investment initiatives. “This scheme should be amended to make it eligible to indirect exports,” he said.

He has expressed the hope that the govt would prioritised the textile industry in its policies to produce exportable surplus, double textile exports and create 3m additional jobs in the country.

Concern over falling

exports, remittances

NNI from Islamabad: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday expressed concern over falling exports and deteriorating remittances.

Pakistan will not get aid from IMF any time soon which will bring forex reserves under pressure as exports and remittances continue to fall despite efforts while imports are growing, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that setting target of exports to 35 billion dollars in three years in the latest export policy has become a joke as exports fell by seven percent in July as compare to the exports of July last year.

Similarly, remittances from US, UK, KSA, the favourite source of forex fell by 20 percent in July while the Brexit may result in more deterioration in these sources of foreign exchange.

He said that a lot of Pakistani workers are being fired from their overseas jobs which will have a negative impact on the overall situation.

Mian Zahid noted that oil prices will not remain subdued for long and any rise will damage the twenty two billion dollars country hold as there is no change of notable rise in remittances.

He said that situation demands extra attention to the dwindling export sector which holds pivotal position. Despite the incentives given to exporters in the budget the performance of inept export manager is visible.

Government needs to initiate serious and meaningful reforms to revive this sector, he added.