LAHORE - The textile industry including the spinners and the value-added sector, after recent meeting with the PM in Islamabad, have pinned great hopes that Premier would address the concerns of textile industry’s whole chain by offering them a comprehensive relief package.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Chairman S M Tanveer, addressing a press conference at the APTMA Punjab office, said that the Prime Minister held one-hour interactive session with APTMA and took interest in the presentation given to him.

Chairman of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Ijaz A Khokhar, in a letter written to the Prime Minister, said that he was very hopeful about the outcome of the recent meeting of PRGMEA with Prime Minister, who is likely to announce a relief package for the garment sector next week.

SM Tanveer, in his press conference, said the APTMA has put forward 10 demands, which included withdrawal of electricity surcharge, removal of gas infrastructure development cess (GIDC), zero rating of local taxes on textile exports, adding of spinning industry in the long term finance facility (LTFF), 3 percent tax on unregistered buyers instead of 2 percent, rebate on focus market exports, strengthening of domestic market, duty on import of yarns and fabric, clearance of pending claims by the FBR and direct subsidy to cotton growers and farmers.

"Out of $4 billion exports of value added textile industry, two and a half billion dollar exports is made by the APTMA members," he said. In other words, he asserted the fact that APTMA was representing the whole textile industry. He further said that APTMA presented the case for the restoration of viability of the textile industry enabling it to regain access to both international and domestic markets.

PRGMEA central chairman Ijaz Khokhar said that garment is the only sector of textile industry which shown growth of 10.5% in 2014-15 despite internal and external challenges, blockage of refunds etc. Total apparel export (woven & knitted) rose to $4.5b, he added.

“That means garment sector earned highest foreign exchange, and we contributed by paying highest tax, highest EDF fund and provided huge employment in this sector. If our blocked refunds were given to us at early stage, garment sector was fully capable to fetch $6b instead of $ 4.5b.”

He said that policies are not being implemented in true spirit, that’s why required results are not being fetched. This is the one of major reason of exports declines, he added.

PRGMEA also recommended to the premier that currently garment sector is having a very limited product line for export market due to the non availability of latest fabric locally. Foreign buyers are demanding new garments based on G3, G-4 and technical fabric material, which are not available and produced by Pakistani textile weavers so far.

He requested that import of fabric be allowed under SRO 492 instead of DTRE, which is very complicated and only 2% exporters can avail importation under DTRE facility.

He said that Pakistan direly needed to establish an aggressive marketing plan for garment export to gain the maximum benefits of GSP status. It is also worth to mention that we have not made any marketing plan before the granting of GSP facility with started 1st January 2014 and till today, he added.

PRGMEA also suggested: “We need to establish a high power committee comprises on public & private sector with the name “Garment Export Promotion Council” which will monitor all the garment exports activity and policy making for maximizing exports. At the moment our value added products are unable to fetch high value due to the poor packaging.” Special incentive be given to Pakistani exporters for new untapped market, he demanded.

“We have one reservation that spinner/APTMA, who are one sub sector of textile and doing value addition just in one fold, whereas garment sector is doing value addition in multi fold. We humbly request that GOP must consider us engine of whole textile chain.”