LAHORE - The Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers & Exporters Association has demanded its representation on the Board of Export Development Funds, because the hand knotted carpet industry is one of the most important export-oriented industry of Pakistan.

The PCMEA central chairman Major (r) Akhtar Nazir Khan Cooki and vice chairman (NZ) Kamran Razi, in a letter written to Secretary Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Textile Industry, observed that almost 100% of carpets produced in Pakistan are exported, providing around 600% value addition to our products, but has no representation in EDF Board despite significant contribution in this fund of exporters.

“We are one of the major contributors in earning valuable foreign exchange for our nation. Hence, the Association should be given representation on the EDF board and making it binding on commercial counsellors to meet PCMEA representatives prior to their appointment in foreign offices to draw a strategy for enhancing carpet exports.”

Major (r) Akhtar Nazir Khan Cooki said that PCMEA is the sole representative of hand knotted carpet industry being registered and licenced by the government of Pakistan. The exports of hand knotted carpets are based upon the most scattered and unorganized manufacturing sector in the country, which constitutes the largest cottage industry in Pakistan. This 100% exportable product creates at least 600% value addition and provides livelihood to more than one million people in remote areas, he added.

The PCMEA North Zone Vice Chairman Kamran Razi said that the hand knotted carpet sector represents small Industry locating in the remotest and most poverty stricken areas of Pakistan. “We provide direct labour to the most under-privileged and uneducated bottom of 5% strata of our society and around 70% of work force of this sector comprises young women who make carpets at home,” he added. Kamran Razi said that carpet sector is doing a great service to the nation by providing employment to around 1 Million people at their door step. This also helps the country in stopping migration from villages to cities.