Despite the tension between Pakistan and India, the trade regime with the neighboring country had not been changed by the government, Minister of Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan told the Senate Standing Committee on Textile on Thursday.
Speaking in response to the concern raised by chairman of the committee Senator Mohsin Aziz, the minister said the government has not yet brought about any changes in the current trade regime with India and no notification has yet been issued.
The Senate Committee was informed that the local textile industry was in a dilapidated condition and its exports were declining due to a number of issues, including a price hike in energy and high tariffs on import of input materials for industries.
“The government is working to make every input items, including machinery import, zero rated for export sector from the next fiscal year while the proposed package for exports-oriented sector is still in field and may be announced anytime soon,” the minister said while briefing the Senate Standing committee on Textile Industry.
The committee pointed out that despite making all the payments, a large amount of raw cotton had been stopped at Karachi port. Dastgir said the government had not issues any notification in that regard.
However, the government has limited the import of cotton through Wagah border to 500,000 bales a year, said Dastgir.
Aziz suggested that to counter the issues being faced by the textile industry at present, the government should instead ban all value-added products coming from India.
The committee was informed that 40 industries in Khurrianwala industrial estate had been closed due to these issues, resulting in a major decline in job opportunities and industrial sector export.
Mian Lateef from Chen One group suggested the committee if the government resolved the issue of restructuring of bank loans of these industrialists, it could help reviving the units and increasing textile exports by about $3 billion annually.
In response to his suggestions, the minister said that the industrialists should formulate a procedure to differentiate between willing and unwilling defaulters and also help regulate sustainable and unsustainable industries.
The minister assured the committee that the government was committed to solve all real concerns related to the textile industry and had already a few demands including the uninterrupted supply of energy supply.