ISLAMABAD - Stakeholders have approved the draft of Textile Policy during final consultation meeting with Ministry of Textile officials held here on Monday.

According to a handout, the Federal Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi discussed the final draft of the policy with stakeholders.

A five-pronged strategy to make the textile sector competitive and sustainable was discussed during the meeting.

Budgetary support, drawback of local taxes and levies, easy finance, sales tax regime, duty free import of machinery, policy interventions, tariff rationalisation, fiber diversification, product diversification, SME development, enactment of domestic labour laws, revival of sick units, marketing strategies, technology up gradation, establishment of world textile centre & model cotton trading houses, revitalisation  of  projects like Pakistan Textile City, garment cities and capacity building of the ministry and related organisations, which are the salient features of the textile policy, were discussed in length.

The new document 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 and facilitate investment of additional $5 billion in machinery and technology. Representatives from PTEA, APTMA, PHMA, PRGMEA, towel manufacturers association, Pakistan Apparel forum and other textile organisations attended the meeting and accepted the policy draft.

Federal minister directed to forward the amended draft to Planning Commission and expressed his desire to see the policy in the next ECC meeting.

Textiles Policy 2014-19 was originally due in September. The Ministry of Textile sent the draft to Economic Coordination Committee on 22 July. After a delay of almost three months it was presented in ECC on 30 October last year. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar formed a committee to review the disagreement among different ministries over the policy.

According to sources, one of the major reasons behind the delay of much awaited policy was that Ministry of Finance, Water and Power and Textile were not on the same page regarding giving assurance of continuous gas and electricity supply to textile industry.

The ministry of textile has now erased word electricity and gas from the draft and now has written that government would ensure continues energy supply to the textile industry.