ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Textiles has started implementation of newly announced textile policy 2014-19, worth Rs64.15 billion.

According to officials, textile officials held first meeting with Ministry of Planning on Tuesday and meeting with Ministry of Finance is expected in next week.

In next five years we will spend around Rs65 billion out of which around Rs25 billion would be provided by Planning Commission, in order to discuss the financing and the execution of the textile policy plans, we had a meaningful meeting with Planning Commission officials, said an official.

According to the new policy, Planning Commission would cater for Rs 23.40 billion  through PC-1 to be allocated for skill development of handloom workers, textile exhibition, hand-knotted carpets, hand-knotted carpet training, SME, trainings, product development & innovation fund, skill development programme, textile universities, world textile centre, weaving city, mega and minor cluster development and better cotton initiative.

The official further said that since Planning Commission had been on board, while preparing the draft of the policy, already many things are agreed upon and rest were discussed in the meeting.

Soon, we will finalise the modalities and actual progress would be started on ground, official said.

According to the plan, Finance Division will provide Rs 40.6 billion whereas Rs 23.5 billion will be financed through Planning Commission and Textile Development Fund.

The textile policy 2014-19 aims to double value addition from $1 billion per million bales to $2 billion per million bales in next five years, double the textile exports from $13 billion to $ 26 billion, facilitate investment of additional $5 billion in machinery and technology, improve fiber mix in favour of non-cotton i.e from 14pc to 30pc, improve product mix especially in garment sector from 28pc to 45pc, promote use of ICT, development and strengthening of clusters.

The officials further briefed that Rs 40.6 billion have been reserved for incremental DLTL, Technology Upgradation Fund, Brand Development Fund and drawback on deemed import basis, for next five years.

The newly announced policy was also criticised by some. Some stakeholders have pointed out that in order to achieve target of 100pc increase in value addition from $1 billion per million bales to $2 billion per million bales over the next five years, government should ensure uninterrupted power supply to the industry along with initiating an aggressive marketing campaign to attract foreign investors on government level.