Pakistan’s textile sector is going down and is in need of immediate attention from the government, said the Chairman of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Regional Committee on Industries Atif Ikram Sheikh. He said that textile sector exports are decreasing, which is a sign of concern as the sector has been the largest foreign exchange earner and job provider in the country.
The cost of business has appreciated for the textile sector due to inclusion of new taxes, energy crisis, input costs, and refund claims. All these issues are pushing the textile sector backwards rather than taking it forward. Thus support of Pakistani government is needed in order to revive the textile sector.
Imports of textile products in the country are also hurting the local industry and thus imports need to be restricted. All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) suggested that 15% duty should be imposed on products that are being imported from India and China in order to encourage domestic production of textile products.
Atif Ikram Shaikh in a statement expressed his reservations and said that “current scenario is depressing as our production is restricted, exports are shrinking and we stand at a disadvantage as far as economy and government’s support is concerned. In this situation, the textile millers have no option but to start protests, which reflects the gravity of the situation while sending the negative signals.”
Atif noted that Pakistani government should follow the footsteps of other countries in the region who are taking positive measures like providing subsidies, facilitating export sector, and ensuring that only surplus cotton is exported. On the contrary, Pakistan has been exporting cotton that could be used by the textile sector, an issue that should be addressed on priority, if the government wants to increase textile exports. He suggested that export of cotton should be regulated and only surplus cotton should be exported while the rest should be used locally.
The textile sector has been crying out for help from the government after the non-implementation of the PKR 180 billion textile package announced in January 2017. Till now only PKR 400 million have been released by the government as compared to PKR 10 billion that were supposed to be released per month for a period of 18 months.