Indian fabrics which are a non-importable item, as per import policy order, are being surreptitiously brought into Pakistan in bulk. The textile sector, the country's major revenue generation sector, is seriously affected by these imports forcing power and silk looms operators to shut shop. Around 400 containers, with about 20 tons of Indian fabric in each container, are imported every month, of which, around 300 containers are directly brought to Karachi market while 100 containers are re-routed to the city as transhipment consignments to Quetta.
The consignments of Indian fabric, which have no stamp of country of origin, were first shipped to Dubai and then Karachi ports under fake Chinese certificate of origin. Then, the consignments were cleared under fake certificate which ensured a Rs 2.8 billion financial loss to the country. The embossment of the country of origin on imported fabric was a mandatory requirement for the clearance of such consignments. Despite knowing the rules, the customs department cleared the goods under fake certificates that lead to a revenue loss of Rs 240 million per month to the country.
Muhammad Javed Bilwani, Chairman Pakistan Apparel Forum (PAF) reportedly confirmed a huge quantity of Indian fabric is being imported, saying they kept requesting the government to provide level playing field to their local industry and ensure strict vigilance/policies to avoid imports of Indian fabric as the influx of the said commodity has caused suspension of operations of 90 per cent power-looms across the country.