FAISALABAD
Expressing grave concern over a 16 percent decline in the textile exports in March, Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association has demanded emergent measures to boost exports.
Talking to news persons, Central Chairman Khalil Qaisar Shamas Guccha and Zonal Chairman Muhammad Akram Pasha pointed out that in March 2015, the textile exports declined by 16.23% against same month of previous year. Giving details they said that exports of cotton declined by 29.36% in value terms and 12.99% in quantity.
Similarly, the cotton cloth exports also declined by 14.45% in value and 37.57% in quantity, exports of bed wear stooped by 16.94% in value and 15.15% in quantity, exports of towels went down by 19.03% in value and 23.51% in quantity, exports of garments slid by 5.20% in value and 12.57% in quantity, the central chairman added.
The only item showing positive increase was knitting sector with 28.53% increase but 7.41% decline in value, he said. He added that the decline in textile exports was in spite of the fact that European Union had granted GSP Plus status to Pakistan under which the country  could export its textile products duty free to European Union markets. However, Pakistani exporters have not been able to benefit from the concession, he regretted.
This was because the productivity of industrial units has come down drastically and these units were unable to meet the demands of foreign buyers, and the main reason for the inability was the energy crisis, he said. The responsibility for the energy crisis was on energy producing units as well as the distribution companies, he said.
He explained that the country had the capacity to produce 24,000 megawatts power but only 16,000 megawatts was being produced whereas the actual demands was 20,500 megawatts thus there was a gap of 4,000 plus megawatts over the last many years. The shortfall was being covered by the distribution companies through massive loadshedding which spanned from 16 to 20 hours per day.
He said that the distribution companies could overcome the short fall through proper strategy and planning by taking stock of actual demand area wise, industry wise and market wise. Furthermore, now the day light hours have increased and this can be advantageously used, he suggested. He demanded when only 2 months have been left in ending of financial year, the government should take some emergent measure to increase the textile exports.
Separately, an expert said that the Halal food market has been thriving worldwide and grown to 2 trillion dollar industry in which Islamic world’s share is only 700 billion dollar and there is no Islamic country among the top 10 exporters of Halal items.
Addressing the annual function of the National Institute of Food Sciences and Technology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad said that Pakistan needs better branding of Halal food. He said the country’s share in the export of world Halal foods is nominal. He told the audiences that Russia, Australia, India, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil and France are among the top exporters.
He said time has come to give the value-addition to our products in order to get foreign exchange. He said that the Halal food market was getting popularity worldwide and had grown to two trillion-dollar industry in which Islamic world’s share is 700 billion dollar.    
He lauded the government’s decision to set up Halal Food Authority that will ensure Halal food and increase the exports. He said keeping the importance of Halal food, the university was initiating undergraduate degree programme of Halal sciences.
Faculty of Food Nutrition and Home Sciences Dean Dr Masood Sadiq said that it was the need of hour to promote value addition to the food products at par with international standards. He said the demand for the Halal food was increasing with every passing day worldwide.  
The awareness about the significance and health benefit of halal food has jacked up among the people globally, he said and added the UAF faculty had also introduced a BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics aimed at promoting the usage of balanced nutrient food and reducing the malnutrition.
At the end, the UAF vice chancellor flanked by a delegation of Indian agricultural scientists inaugurated a bakery set-up at NIFSAT in collaboration with JK Farms. It will also open its outlets in various other parts of the city.