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PRGMEA demands enhanced marketing to prop up exports

Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has demanded quick implementation of the revised PM package for exporters for 2017-18 as well as strategic marketing plans to speed up exports by leveraging the advantages of GSP Plus.

PRGMEAs Senior Vice Chairman Sheikh Luqman Amin asked the finance ministry to quickly release funds as over 30 per cent cash flow was blocked in sales tax refunds and Customs rebate which is affecting cash liquidity.

The Finance Ministry has not yet released the major part of the previous Rs180 billion PMs package post January 2017 Sheikh Luqman noted and said that the government should implement measures to remove all issues that are stifling textile exports.

Another area of concern is that textile value-added products cannot sell at a high value due to bad packaging. Sheikh was of the view that there is a felt need to set up a product and packaging centre to enhance packaging.

Sheikh disclosed that the association is looking at implementing a long-term strategy to nullify stiff competition in international markets from major players such as India and China.

PRGMEA chief was of the view that formulation of sector-wise policies is a way forward to stabilise exports. He said that following non availability of latest fabric domestically, the garment industry currently has a limited product line that can be manufactured for the export market as foreign buyers are demanding new garments on G3, G4 and technical fabric raw material.

Sheikh decried the fact that instead of involving associations, exporters have been told to directly submit their claims to banks which unfortunately do not have any competent technical staff to evaluate such claims. This is resulting in banks not following SBP directives of processing refund cases within 14 days.

This, he concludes, only goes to show that the Finance Ministry is not keen on implementing the PMs package despite the fact that the country is facing an all-time high trade deficit.