Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan on Wednesday said that textile exports would enhance by $1 billion and more than one hundred thousand new jobs would be created by reviving the sick textile units by addressing their genuine problems.

He stated this while talking to a delegation of Faisalabad Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which called on the minister in Islamabad. The Minister said that the Government is seeking help and expertise of private sector to carve out a strategy to make the sick textile units operational. To alleviate these sick units out of their financial straits, the Ministry of Commerce will persuade the relevant ministries and the State Bank of Pakistan to offer debt-restructuring facility to the willing textile units, the Minister said.

Khurram Dastgir Khan said that due the satisfactory performance of the present Government on economic and political fronts, Moody’s International has upgraded Pakistan’s credit rating from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’ which is a substantial achievement on the government’s part. The Minister hoped that this improvement in grading will provide a basis for other indicators set by different INGOs to show progress which will result in persuading international importers to buy their products from Pakistan.

The Minister asked the members of the delegation to provide the Ministry of Commerce with complete details of the sick units, a complete analysis of their miseries and the number of employees which were rendered jobless due to the closure of these textile units. This will help the Ministry to formulate detailed and effective proposals which could help solve the problems of the sick units.

The Minister was informed that if these closed units are made operational an additional one hundred thousand workforce will get jobs of which 25-30 thousand will be women. This will also help in regaining the international customers which over the years have started importing from the rival markets.

Talking about the necessity to add value to Pakistani textile products, the Minister said that Pakistan is only extracting $ 4-5 from one kilogram of cotton but the Government is planning to get more than $15/ kilogram through value-addition.