ISLAMABAD - President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said unabated import of Indian art silk through United Arab Emirates (UAE) has dealt a severe blow to the local industry.  Around seventy percent of the local units have been closed, resulting in unemployment of thousands of labour, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that art silk cannot be imported from India as it has been included in the negative list but authorities have taken little interest in stopping India exports through UAE which has almost killed this sector.

He said that in 1990s there were over one hundred thousand machines making art silk while its export amounted to 800 million dollars but later the Chinese art silk find its way in local market through Afghanistan which started damaging the local industry.

Afterwards, India started exporting 85 percent of its art silk production to Pakistan through UAE backed by hidden subsidy to exporters which was another blow to the local industry.

There is almost no demand in UAE for the art silk and the country can import it from China paying half the price what it pays to India estimated to be 90 million dollars annually.

Indian exporters and some Pakistan importers have ganged up to continue the illegal trade by making changing in bill of landing and changing the name of country of origin which should be noticed, he said.

He said that massive under invoicing is also taking place which is inflicting damage to local industry and the government.