FAISALABAD - The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) hailed the timely intervention of Prime Minister Imran Khan for restoration of gas supply to zero rated export industries. It said: “With uninterrupted gas supply, textile industry will achieve sizeable growth in exports which in turn will help strengthen the economy.”

In a press statement, PTEA Chairman Khurram Mukhtar thanked the government for restoring gas supply to textile industry. Appreciating the premier for taking serious notice of gas suspension to industries, he said that this move had raised the business community’s confidence and such business-friendly policies would definitely result in boosting the trade and industry. “Interruption in gas supply always put the industry on back gear and adversely affects textile production mainly meant for exports,” he said, and added that focus on industrialisation should be the prime responsibility of the government. Terming value-added textile sector the main engine of growth, he underlined the need for producing exportable surplus and for this purpose continuous supply of energy inputs were the need of the hour. Appreciating the government’s initiative of subsidising energy prices for export oriented sectors, he assured textile industry’s commitment to work for a prosperous Pakistan through maximum growth in textile exports. Underlining the importance of textile sector, he said that textile industry had an overwhelming impact on the economy with its 57 percent share in country’s exports and 8.5 percent in GDP; whereas textile exporters are major stakeholders in foreign exchange earnings, keeping industrial wheel running, generating employment and promoting exports. He said that the government should extend full support to the major contributing industry towards economy. Terming the decreasing trade deficit a good sign for the economy, he referred the latest export figures revealed by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics that showed a 5.28 percent reduction in balance of trade during November against the previous month of October. Similarly, a 2.03 percent negative growth in trade balance was also witnessed in July-November against the same period of outgoing fiscal year. Pining high hopes, he said that government’s progressive initiatives had put the trade and industry on the track.

Vice Chairman Muhammad Idrees termed value added textile sector the backbone of the economy with great potential for earning foreign exchange. He urged the government for release of financial stress as blocked refunds were creating problems for textile exporters rendering them unable to retain their hard earned export markets. “This is having an adverse impact on the employment and the economy of the country as textile industry is unable to tap its potential in accordance with capacity,” he said. “Regional competing countries are rapidly multiplying their exports just because of the edge they have on the cost of doing business,” he added. “Pragmatic policies in consultation with stakeholders need to be formulated to reduce the cost of business by fixing rates of inputs in line with competing countries in the global market to create a level playing field,” he suggested. “Government should accord preferential treatment to boost the exports and accelerate the industrial activities,” he demanded.