The governor of Punjab, Muhammad Rajwana has assured All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) members that he will take up all issues related to the Punjab-based textile industry with the Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi. "I fully understand your problems and would join you to get them resolved from the federal government," he noted. He was addressing the textile association during his visit to APTMAs Punjab office on Wednesday.
Representatives from the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association, the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Power Loom Owners Association and the Pakistan Sweater Exporters Association were also present on the occasion. The governor expressed his displeasure over the increasing number of mills that were closed in Punjab. He disclosed the textile mills in Punjab were facing issues right from cotton to value added exports. He noted that the trust deficit between industry and policymakers is alarming.
Discussing the damage caused to the cotton acreage due to sugar industry issues, he expressed his view that no industry should succeed at the cost of another. He further said that the textile industry should be permitted to import cotton from all sources including Afghanistan to meet the current shortage.
He was aware that APTMA was agitated over their demands not being considered since the last four years and said that the time has now come to make textile industry competitive in the region by removing disparities in the energy cost.
Discussing the issue of sales tax refund, he said that some of the departments were also misusing their authority. Earlier, Chairman APTMA Aamir Fayyaz made a detailed presentation on the existing state of affairs in the Punjab-based textile industry. The presentation also noted the huge difference in cost of production in Pakistan as against regional countries. He said the government should immediately address the energy cost issues by ensuring uniformity in prices, ie, electricity at Rs 7 per kWh and LNG at Rs 600 per MMBTU. He also sought an immediate release of sales tax refunds of the industry.