ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the value-added textile sector is the backbone of the economy which deserves attention of the government.

This sector is providing employment to millions of the people after agriculture, have the largest share in exports and paying taxes, therefore, its problems should be resolved immediately, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that energy crisis, stuck-up refund claims, rising input costs, the burden of taxes, infrastructure issues, lack of enabling rules and regulations, has increased the cost of doing business, it said.

Our production is restricted, exports are shrinking and we stand at a disadvantage as far as economy and government’s support is concerned which has compelled this sector to start protest which is sending the negative signal, he noted.

He said that instead of moving forward with the value addition, the country is going backwards by exporting more of the raw materials like cotton and yarn.

The business leader said that all the regional countries are following good practices, paying hidden subsidies while India allows export of surplus cotton, he said.

A proper regulatory policy for cotton and yarn exports can save one of the most important small scale industry from losing its share to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam and India.

The government should introduce the liberal import policy for raw materials for re-export like duty-free import of fabrics and accessories which are not being manufactured in Pakistan.

Authorities must discourage exports of raw material for the sake of finished clothing products in domestic and export markets.