FAISALABAD (APP) - Eleven leading associations of value-added textile industry have appealed the government to take viable and practical measures to save the value added textile industry, which was the backbone of national economy, major forex earning sector and providing substantial employment to labour force of the country. A joint meeting of representatives of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA), Pakistan Cotton Fashion Apparels Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PCFAMEA), Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers & Exporter Association (PRGMEA), Towel Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (TMA), All Pakistan Textiles Processing Mills Association (APTPMA), Pakistan Apparel Forum (PAF), All Pakistan Bed sheets & Upholstery Manufacturers Association (APBUMA), Pakistan Cloth Merchants Association (PCMA), Pakistan Denim Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PDMEA) and Pakistan Knitwear and Sweater Exporters Association (PAKSEA) was held at PTEA Headquarter here on Monday. Leaders of these associations strongly condemned the attempts to withdraw zero rated Sales Tax facility on exports in new RGST as an act to sabotage national economy and exports of the country. They decided to adopt all possible means to apprise the President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Commerce Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Textile Minister Rana Farooq Saeed Khan of the fallout of the imposition of Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) on exports. After the meeting, Khurram Mukhtar, Chairman and Sohail Pasha, Vice Chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association said that textile sector in Pakistan is already in hot waters due to multiple factors including security issues, energy crisis, high interest rates, squeezing credit facilities and dwindling exports while RGST will add fuel to fire endangering the survival of trade and industry in the country. In prevailing economic conditions, rising cost of production is the core issue for textile exporters and this move of withdraw zero rated on exports would also shed negative impact on national economy and exports of the country, they added. The PTEA office-bearers said that exercise of first collecting Sales Tax and then refunding the same in the past was an exercise in futility involving wastage of time and energy and was also corruption prone, adding that Zero rated facility was intended to save the exporters from Sales Tax refund regime hassles. Exports of the country would collapse down if the zero rated facility is not allowed in Reformed General Sales Tax regime and would also place additional burden on exporters, they warned. They demanded that textile industry should be allowed to survive and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country direly needed at present in the economic circumstances prevailing in the country and in the aftermath of devastating floods.