Bill for GSP plus status for Pak exporters in January: Sarwar


A bill to grant GSP plus status to textile exports from Pakistan will be tabled in European Parliament in the first week of January 2014.
This was stated by Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar while addressing members of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) during his maiden visit to the FCCI here on Sunday. He said that textile was the major industry that was earning precious foreign exchange for the country, but unfortunately it was facing complicated and ticklish issues due to domestic as well as international crisis.
He said the GSP Plus bill was under discussion and he had already met ambassadors of Germany and Belgium.
“I have also contacted various political parties of the UK for the approval of the bill,” he said and added that the GSP Plus status would create at least one million jobs in Pakistan in addition boost exports to EU countries.
He disclosed that eight Pakistani Members of UK Parliament were also on board and supporting the GSP Plus Status for Pakistan.
He said he would also visit the UK and other European countries to get support for the bill. He commended the business community of Pakistan and said that they knew how to deal with crisis and the international community is also aware of their resilient qualities.
He said the energy crisis had hit the business community but it not only survived and was boldly facing the situation. He said the prime minister was fully aware of the energy crisis and was making efforts to resolve it on war-footing.
He said that dams were imperative to store water and generate cheap electricity in addition to saving people from rains and floods. He also commended philanthropistic works of the FCCI and said that he was in KP and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) during the earthquake and he was pleased to know that major relief consignments came from the FCCI. He hoped that the business community of FCCI would continue to help affected people of rains and floods.
He also pinpointed that water would be the emerging crisis for Pakistan and it must formulate a comprehensive strategy to tackle the issue.
He said the business community was creating wealth and playing a major role in earning precious foreign exchange and we are duty bound to pay them due respect. He said, “If we succeed in earning sufficient foreign exchange, we can change the fate of the country.” Sarwar said that education was prerequisite to resolve our problems but it was discouraging that seven million children were still out of school and those who have been enrolled were deprived of clean drinking water.
The governor said that it was not a very costly plant as it costs only Rs.4 lakh which could cater to the need of 500-1000 children.
He said he will himself launch a movement in collaboration with the international business community, NGOs and other philanthropists to join with him to provide the facility to students of Pakistan. Sarwar said that efforts would also be made to provide facilities to schools. He commended the effort of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and said in partnership with international NGOs, missing facilities would be ensured in schools.
However, he pinpointed the dilemma of the absence of teachers from schools and said, “I will ask the education department to carve out a strategy to ensure 100 percent presence of teachers.” He also said the Punjab chief minister had displayed unique courage to confess that he could not fully resolve the issues of education and Thana culture.