Ijaz A Khokhar, Chief Coordinator of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), is happy with the decision of the government to withdraw sales tax and custom duty on cotton import to meet the shortfall of the natural fibre in the country and to help the textile industry. He assessed the apparel sector at the apex of textile value chain starting from cotton and synthetic fibre. It is the least energy and capital intensive industry that plays a pivotal role in earning foreign exchange and provides extensive employment in the entire textile chain while exporting over $5 billion in textile products.
Ijaz said the apparel industry is an important engine for growth of the economy and noted that the steep increase in cotton yarn prices by 20 per cent had hit the export-oriented value added textile sector very hard. The skyrocketing prices of cotton yarn would have serious effects on value added exports and this increase of yarn prices will ruin the Government’s efforts to achieve export target, he added. Ijaz further stated to bridge the gap of trade deficit the government should provide a level playing field to the entire textile chain as the apparel industry is already suffering from lower productivity. The provision of competitively priced quality cotton yarn to value-added textile industry is the basic foundation on which export competitiveness is built and apparel segment faced tough competition from regional players.
For these reasons, PRGMEA appealed to the government to abolish all duties the import of cotton yarn and further, it should be imported freely from anywhere to encourage value addition, reduce cost of doing business and bridging the gap between production and consumption. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet should also give approval of duty relaxation on cotton yarn import in line with the benefits being provided to the spinners, he concluded.