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Pakistan textile industry suggests measures for revival

Highlighting the challenges being faced by millers in Pakistan, the textile industry has come up with a set of recommendations for its revival with the help of a growth-led strategy as exports have consistently weakened over time. All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) chairman Aamir Fayyaz outlined the proposals at a meeting with Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) chairman SM Muneer. They discussed restoration of the viability and growth of the textile industry.

Fayyaz pointed out the exports had slid because of high cost of doing business. In the previous fiscal, trade deficit reached $28 billion as exports dropped to $19.5 billion from $24.5 billion in 2013. He suggested the government should remove customs duty on import of cotton, allow duty-free import of all man-made fibres that were not being manufactured in the country and permit the drawback of taxes and levies at 4 per cent on export of yarn and grey fabric, 5 per cent on processed fabric and 6 per cent on home textiles, made-ups and garments.

He said the government should allow long-term financing facility, input tax refund on packaging materials under the zero-rated regime and lift the moratorium on new gas/re-gasified liquefied natural gas (LNG) connections for captive power plants. He proposed that a multi-year tariff, determined by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) for the industry, should be notified without including the surcharge, which would make available electricity at the regionally competitive price of Rs7 per kilowatt-hour.

Revealing that $3.5 billion worth of industry capacity was shut, he emphasised the need for bringing that capacity back to production as well as restoration of investor confidence in order to encourage them to execute their investment plans. Speaking on the occasion, the TDAP chairman said exports should always be the top-most priority of the government for instilling confidence in the entrepreneurs.