KARACHI - The textile industry has advised the government a cautious approach towards the process of trade normalization with India, as level playing field should be the hallmark of any such arrangement between the two competing countries.

It is important to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses in all sub-sectors of textile industry before liberalising two-way trade with India.

There is an urgent need of carrying out a competitiveness study of all sub-sectors while taking into account the state and central incentives, different schemes, institutional supports and drawbacks in India.

Pakistan’s textiles have been unable to develop inroads into the Indian domestic market due to tariff and non-tariff barriers. It will not be easy for Pakistan’s textile industry to compete under 5% Indian tariff under SAFTA, if at all it comes into force, observed APTMA Punjab chairman SM Tanveer.

He said there is a need of detailed study on identification of interventions, subsidies and supports available to the Indian textile industry against Pakistan.

According to him, the government should immediately determine cost of production differences, as the Punjab-based textile industry was already exposed to the inter-provincial disparities and facing the brunt of unprecedented energy load shedding, costing it an accumulative loss of Rs72 billion per annum.

Also, he said, the government should evaluate the infrastructural constraints as well as tariff and non tariff barriers while considering to open up bilateral trade with India.

 S M Tanveer has urged the government to hire international consultants to carry out this study of strategic importance before liberalising trade with India. He said APTMA will always be available to help out the government in this regard.