LAHORE - Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) has severely criticised government’s attitude towards continuously declining exports over the last few years.

Addressing the annual general meeting here on Sunday, PHMA’s newly-elected Chairman Mohammad Adil Butt bemoaned that even the benefits of GSP Plus status could not be of any help to the industry.

On the occasion, the results of body’s elections were announced according to which Muhammad Amjad Khawaja was elected as Senior Vice Chairman and Mohammad Younus Sony as Vice Chairman.

The newly-elected members of Central Executive Committee are Dr Mohammad Mushtaq Mangat, Naseer Ahmad Butt, Syed Nahid Abbass, Javed Iqbal and Khawaja Musharraf Iqbal.

Members elected on Zonal Committee include Usman Jawaad, Dr Mohammad Imtiaz Ali, Naeem Ahmed, Dr Khurram Anwar Khawaja, Sheikh Mohammad Sarwat Kapoor and Mian Khalid Pervez.

The newly-elected office-bearers will took their offices on October 1, 2016. Besides this, Haji Mohammad Shafi of Faisalabad was unanimously elected as Chief Patron of PHMA (North Zone).

“What to talk of expansion of units or further industrialisation and investment in the country when the existing factories are unable to utilise their full capacity,” Adil Butt asked the government.

He declared that his industry could meet the foreign exchange requirements of the country if it was enabled to work day and night and a level-playing field, compatible to competing countries, was provided to it at this critical situation.

At the same time, he also called upon the industrialists to tackle the problems of industry on their own because the government was not thinking enough for them, while time, on the other hand, was running out fast.

He therefore advised the businessmen to find their own innovative solutions according to their own needs to become able to meet the market requirements. He resolved that Association would play a leading role in this regard.

He further said that China factor was not only opening up new opportunities for Pakistan but also bringing with it threats of different kinds. He therefore advised the business community to be ready for dealing with difficulties in the time coming ahead.

The newly-elected chairman said that knitwear export industry was the largest employment providing sector of the economy, besides being the leading export earning sector.

He expressed concern that the export of knitted garments had been declining for the last couple of years, but the government does not seem bothered.

He explained that constraints being confronted by the industry due to warlike situation being faced by Pakistan over the last so many years was a major setback to the country’s industry; otherwise we could have performed better and improved a lot.

“The supply of gas has been ensured through Re-gasified Liquid Natural Gas although it will cost more,” he said, and added, “The foreign importers are, however, not coming to Pakistan for placing export orders while we have to cross so many hurdles for managing our foreign travels.”

Newly-elected Vice Chairman Amjad Khawaja noted that Textile Policy 2014-19 offered enormous opportunities for development of value-added garment sector provided it was properly implemented and required finances were timely released.

 “The previous Textile Policy 2009-14 could not bring any significant change for the sector because its contents were not implemented in their true spirit,” he said.

He, therefore, demanded that proper implementation of the current policy should be ensured so that the industry could bank on its provisions with confidence.