fund release delay Textile Standing Committee expresses reservation

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National Assembly Standing Committee on textiles industry expressed strong reservations over delay of release of funds by finance division to the ministry, with members of the committee stating that it would hamper not only the implementation process on Textile Policy 2009-14 but also would also delay release of Rs10.7 billion refunds to textile exporters already being withheld for the last two years. NA textile Industry meeting held under the chairmanship of Haji Muhammad Akram Ansari asked government to immediately announce and direct Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to procure one million cotton bails from farmers in order to stop its declining trend of cotton prices in the local market which has reduced to Rs2200 per bale. Committee members expressed their anger over continuous absence of federal textile minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin and lack of interest in ministry affairs. Committee member asked minister to raise the issue of dangerous trend in decline of cotton prices in open market in the cabinet meeting. Committee member Abdul Rashid Godil while expressing displeasure over non payment of refunds of textile exporters said exporters don’t need government’s assistance in upgradation of machinery but they want their refunds back. He said ministry has demanded $200 million from government for implementation on projects under textile policy while they don’t even have funds to pay refunds back to exporters. The primary target of textile policy was to double the rate of value from the present $1000 per bale to $2000 per bale over next five years. Increased capacities required to generate this level of output were forecasted to call for an additional investment of around $8 billion largely to be undertaken by private sector. It was proposed in the policy that government should invest about 25 per cent of total investment requirement over next five years. This comes to $2.5 billion or around Rs200 billion over five years and Rs40 billion annually.