LAHORE - Punjab Governor Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar has said that approval of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) plus status to Pakistan textile exports to European Union (EU) countries is the outcome of joint efforts of stakeholders of the country.

He was talking to the ceremony of First Lake City Media Awards 2013 being held here on Tuesday at Lake City Golf & Country Club, Raiwind Road.

Punjab Governor lauded the lobbying done by the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Minister of State Khurram Dastagir Khan under the Prime Minister’s instructions for achieving this goal. Sarwar said Pakistanis living abroad were the real assets of country and they should be provided with the maximum possible facilities to get benefit from their services.

The governor, on this occasion, presented Media Awards 2013 to prominent print and electronic media persons.

On this occasion, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Punjab chapter) Chairman SM Tanveer asked the federal government to support textile sector which is the contributor of $1.2 billion to exports monthly.

He suggested the government to provide energy, gas and electricity during the next three months, as the textile sector will continue to add in the valuable foreign exchange. Otherwise fall in exchange reserves would create unemployment and increase in prices of commodities at a large scale, he warned.

SM Tanveer said that the current foreign exchange reserves had fallen to a dangerous level of $3.64 billion and further erosion was not in the interest of the country. Therefore, export proceeds had to be encouraged and policy of priority in supply of energy, gas and electricity be shifted to industrial sector particularly to the textile sector instead of other sectors, he said.

The APTMA provincial chairman said that the textile sector had a potential to enhance its export proceeds from present $13 billion to $26 billion and production of cotton crop from 14 million bales to 25 million bales in a four to five years time if policies are devised in the right direction and in consultation with the real stakeholders.

He elaborated that increase in production in cotton crop would create 10 million new job opportunities in the industrial sector and open market.