The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has said that the country lags behind in value addition which is a reason behind unemployment and lower volume of exports. It asked the government to make a detailed plan to stimulate value addition in textiles and other sectors to encourage exports and employment after the award of GSP Plus.
Textile sector should be a priority which contributes 08 per cent to GDP, 54 pc to exports, produces 24 pc of industrial value-added products, employs 40 pc of urban labour, and absorbs 40 pc of bank credit, said FPCCI President Zubair Ahmed Malik on Saturday.
Speaking to the business community, he said China generated 4 billion dollar from one million bales, India 2 bln dollars while Pakistan could only generate $1 bln due to lack of value addition, want of upgradation, paucity of policy support, high interest rates and increasing energy cost adding to the cost of doing business. He said apart from textiles, allied industry needed special attention of the policymakers to improve its performance which would guarantee increased exports.
Malik asked the textile millers to waste no time in modernisation of their units to get maximum benefit out of the GSP Plus trade relaxations. He advised them not to compromise on quality and consider importing part of the latest machinery from India which was economical as compared to any other country.
Lauding the PM’s youth loan scheme, the FPCCI chief said those getting loans should prefer to invest in different small businesses related to textiles like stitching to ensure safety of their funds and get better returns.
Malik said Bangladesh had lost cost advantage after Islamabad got the latest trade relaxation while the latest political development had deterred capital outflow to Dhaka which should be taken as an opportunity. Moreover, the sliding rupee would help textile sector earn a couple of extra billions of dollars while hike in power prices and interest rates could threaten the exports, he added.
The government lacked resources to overcome energy crisis, therefore, the business community should step forward and take part in the power generation, he said.
“The GSP should not be seen as an opportunity to the textile sector as over 6,000 products will enjoy lower tariffs in the EU which can be used to diversify exports,” said Zubair Ahmed Malik.
He warned that the GSP scheme was linked to good governance which must be ensured by the government at any cost.
South Africa countries which has triggered more anxiety amongst businessmen who fear that these phone callers are in Karachi and they have acquired international SIMs. They are using the roaming facility within Pakistan so that they could not be traced easily”, he added.
He said though police and rangers were usually seen deployed at various areas and sometimes carrying out snap-checking but all these efforts appeared to be a futile exercise as the lawbreakers were fearlessly carrying weapons and grenades to threaten and attack the business community. “Police and rangers must be given freehand to deal with criminals and all LEAs must intensify security measures in various areas”, he added.
The KCCI president also stressed the need for further intensifying the ongoing operation in Karachi which must continue for a very long period till peace was fully restored across the city. He said police and rangers must act indiscriminately without considering the cast, creed, colour or political affiliation of criminals responsible for sabotaging peace in the city.
He said the business community was suffering losses of billions of rupees due to insecure business atmosphere which kept foreign investors away from Pakistan, however, the businessmen and industrialists had no other option but to keep their business activities limited.
The security situation of Karachi city, if not timely and efficiently tackled, would keep the overall economic indicators of the country depressed leaving no other option for decision makers but to seek foreign aid, he warned.