LAHORE  -   The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to chair regular meetings of the textile industry stakeholders to monitor policy implementation as well as performance in investment and exports, desperately needed to earn precious foreign exchange to overcome trade deficit in the shortest possible time.

APTMA Patron-in-Chief Gohar Ejaz said the industry is committed to achieve $30 billion exports, undertake new investment initiatives and create millions of sustainable jobs. He said the immediate focus of the government should be on increase in cotton production by doubling cotton yield to 1200 kg per hectare from existing 660 kg. Presently, he said, the industry is dependent on import of 3.5 million bales to meet its consumption by spending precious foreign exchange worth $1.1 billion dollar per annum. An improvement in the cotton yield can take production to over 20 million bales that will save foreign exchange on the one hand and earn around $3 billion on the export of surplus cotton.

According to him, there is an urgent need to provide a long term export-led growth policy. In the past, he pointed out, all such policies given by the previous governments from time to time could hardly see 15 percent implementation. He added that policy implementation should be the focus of the economic managers of the country that would enable the industry and exports to grow at more than 10-15 percent per annum without interruption and yield precious foreign exchange to mitigate trade deficit.

He said there is a dire need to increase credit allocation to the industrial sector and release of liquidity lying pending on account of sales tax and DLTL should be processed expeditiously to augment a turnaround in the industrial productivity.

He further added that the textile industry has envisaged to achieve 20 million bales of cotton production, one million ton polyester fibre, $28 billion textile and clothing exports, increase in share in global exports by 3.5% of textile and 2.7% of clothing, 6 million direct labour force and $1.4 billion new investment per annum by 2023-24, i.e. during the tenure of present government.

He expressed the hope that the recommendations made by the industry associations would soon be materialized in order to tap the potential of the textile industry in earning foreign exchange, bringing in investment and creating jobs to ensure a prosperous and developed Pakistan under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.