ISLAMABAD - After missing US $ 13 billion textile exports target for the previous year by a huge margin, the government set a more realistic target of US $ 10.41 billion for the current fiscal year. The TheNation reliably learnt a major dip of US $ 2.59 billion in the textile export targets for the year 2009-10. The textile sector is believed to be under pressure for the last couple of years due to the high cost of production as a result of increased electricity and gas tariffs. The global economic meltdown, which has considerably reduced the demand for textile products, has also very negatively hit the sector. Textile sector, which contribute about 60 to 65 per cent of the total exports of the country besides providing jobs to about 40 per cent of industrial workforce, is facing a number of problems because of energy crises and high interest rates. The government has missed the annual exports target set for the last financial year by $ 5.12 billion, as the textile sector did not perform well in the year as many industrial units were closed down. According to the officials figures the exports of textile products have declined by 9.55 per cent during the first eleven months of the last financial year 2008-09 and it declined to $8.724 billion in July-May period against $9.645 billion of the same period of the last fiscal year. It is pertinent to be mention here that the government has kept $ 19.9 billion export target for the current fiscal year against $ 22.19 billion of last year while the imports are projected to be around $28.7b as compared with estimated imports of $30.19b of 2008-09 projecting a decline of $1.87b. The official of All Pakistan Textile mills Association told when contacted that it would be difficult for them to achieve the annual export textile target of $ 10.41 billion at the end of the current year because of loadshedding and high interest rate. He also said that gas loadshedding would also start after a few months. He said that the government did not announce any relief package for the textile sector in the Annual Budget 2009-10 and our focus is now on the trade policy. Moreover, he said the imposition of new taxes on the import of raw materials and the withdrawal of subsidies on electricity and gas would make the industry further incompetent in the region.