LAHORE - Senior Vice Chairman of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Sheikh Luqman Amin has said that as the non-payment of refunds and sharp increase in cotton yarn prices have taken the value-added textile industry to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi should give directives personally for the early release of funds and implementation of PM package announced earlier.

In a statement here on Thursday, Sheikh Luqman Amin denounced the Finance Ministry and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for delaying the PM export package , proposing the government to release funds to the central bank for disbursement of duty drawback of taxes to the exporters, as only the immediate payment of all outstanding refunds of sales tax would save the industry . He was of the view that the Ministry of Textile industry has already notified the revised PM's package for exporters immediately after the approval of ECC but the finance ministry has been using delaying tactics, committing the value-added textile sector to the Intensive Care Unit amidst record high prices of yarn in the country.

Sheikh Luqman Amin lamented that value-added textile exporters were battling hard for their survival in the global market in the face of severe competition with the regional countries. Terming funds blockage as main cause of continuous drop in exports, he said that export industry was unable to tap its potential in accordance with capacity.

The SVC PRGMEA said the government initiative, if implemented timely, will surely provide relief to the exporters who are presently facing severe liquidity crunch. He, however, made it clear that these measures are short-term solution, as the government would have to provide conducive environment by reducing cost of inputs to achieve export targets.

PRGMEA hopes the government will fulfill its commitment this time to restore the confidence of the exporters before the collapse of the industry . The prime minister decided to give package to the exporters, but it is not being implemented. Every passing day is crucial for the industry at a time when exports have been constantly declining. He also asked the government to honour its pledge to clear pending tax refunds of exporters, without any delay .

The PRGMEA senior vice chairman appealed to the prime minister to personally pass orders for swift implementation of the package .

It is a matter of concern for the country that despite GSP Plus status, exports of the country are not increasing and related workforce is losing their jobs. The government should adopt pro-export policies and ensure their effective implementation so that the country could continue its journey to development and prosperity. The exports of the country are a major source of providing employment and earning foreign exchange, but they are under heavy internal and external pressures.

Therefore, export industry should be given priorities in solution of their problems so that economic prosperity can be achieved.