LAHORE - Prime Minister Imran Khan has assured the textile industry of providing full support and enabling environment to increase exports, besides creating sustainable jobs to alleviate poverty. He said that the sales tax refund issues will be resolved at the earliest.

He was addressing a reception hosted in his honour jointly by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufactures & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) and Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) here on Saturday.

Governor Punjab Ch Sarwar, Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar, PRGMEA Chairman Mubashar Naseer Butt, chairman PTEA Khurram Mukhtar and APTMA Patron in Chief Gohar Ejaz were also present on the occasion.

The PM said all stakeholders of the industry would be invited to take proposals for providing long-term sustainable textile policy initiatives.

Imran Khan said that friendly countries have played an important role to help Pakistan in its worst economic crisis. He said that due to the wrong policies of the previous governments Pakistan indulged in the war of others. He said that now Pakistan will never be a part of the battles of others. He said Pakistan has played an important role in mediation between the United States and Taliban. He further said that Pakistan is ready to play the role of mediator between Saudi Arab and Iran.

He said nationalization policy of former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto shattered the confidence of investors.

The PM also pointed out that government will also soon solve the problem of current account deficit. He assured the industry that despite all the problems faced by country on economic front government will facilitate the industry. He said there is a difference in making profit and profiteering. He stressed the need for creation of wealth without which poverty alleviation is not possible. The industry will be given incentives to create wealth so that jobs could be created and poverty could be reduced. He said Malaysian Prime Minister provided the people an opportunity of creation of wealth. He said China took out 700 million out of poverty in thirty years which is a rear example cross the globe.

Earlier, addressing the reception, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Patron-in-Chief Gohar Ejaz appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for fulfilling the promise of regionally competitive energy (i.e. gas at USD 6.5/mmBTU and electricity at 7.5 US cents/kWh) to the exporting industry in first 100 days of his government.

Gohar also proposed the prime minister to set up a special task force comprising of the industry associations and concerned ministries/departments to design and implement industry growth initiatives. Prime minister should hold and chair the task force meetings on quarterly basis in order to monitor and review implementation of policy initiatives and consequent progress of exports and investment done by the industry, he added.

He said the textile industry is highly indebted to Prime Minister Imran Khan and his capable team, especially Asad Umar, Abdur Razak Daud, Omer Ayub and Ghulam Sarwar for providing much needed relief to the industry at a time when 30-35% capacity of the industry was impaired and others were striving hard for their survival.

With the announcement of the regionally competitive energy tariff, he added, it is expected that the textile and clothing industry would bring back its lost share in the international market place.

While stressing for the provision of other enabling measures pivotal for revival and long-term growth of the industry, he demanded consistent long term export led growth Textile Policy, availability of raw materials, availability of liquidity, LTFF to indirect exports, investment enablers & policy implementation.

In his welcome address, Chairman APTMA Syed Ali Ahsan thanked the prime minister for accepting his invitation to join APTMA members on lunch and let the industry express its gratitude for providing regionally competitive energy to the exporting industry which will greatly help revival and growth of the textile industry and exports.