The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association have voiced concern over the undue delay in approval of new textile policy which carries the measures to increase country’s textile exports to USD 26 billion by the year 2019. Inordinate delay in the announcement of new textile policy is depriving textile sector of its due benefits, besides causing serious apprehensions and uncertainty in the major export-oriented sector.
In a statement on Tuesday, Sohail Pasha, Chairman and Rizwan Riaz, Vice Chairman of the Association, revealed that the government announced several schemes in the budget 2014-15 as integral part of the new textile policy, but in the absence of any textile policy the sector was not getting benefits from these schemes to improve its efficacy. They said that the government approved several schemes in the budget 2014-15 and a sum of Rs 80 billion was earmarked, however, in absence of the policy, these schemes could not be implemented. Textile sector contributes about 55 percent to the country’s total exports, besides providing direct and indirect millions of jobs; however, textile sector is being run without a textile policy for six months. They said the textile policy was being awaited because the different incentives could help exporters as only announcement of the package alone would not do the trick.
PTEA Chairman Sohail Pasha was of the view that Pakistan had failed to take full advantage of the trade concessions given by the European Union under the GSP Plus scheme because of lack of support from the government. Previous textile policy expired on June 30, 2014, but it failed to meet the envisaged textile exports target of USD 25 billion, which was currently not more than USD 13.5 billion, he said, adding that main reasons behind the failure of the policy was non-implementation of different initiatives due to short releases of funds as the government discharged only Rs 26.75 billion against the commitment of Rs 188 billion. Moreover, ambitious export target was fixed without giving due thought sluggish industrial and trade business environment and other problems which remained unachieved. The textile policy also guaranteed to dispense regular supply of gas and power to the textile industry. However, it has failed to provide this as large number of textile units have shut operations due to energy constraints resulting in huge loss to the industry.
Rizwan Riaz urged the government to resolve the crisis as challenges like energy crisis, liquidity crunch, and financial stress was holding this mainstay of national economy back from growing up to full potential.
The PTEA demanded that the government should concentrate upon some truly visionary steps and address genuine concerns of the industry with innovation and extraordinary solutions in the upcoming textile policy. They further demanded immediate approval and implementation of textile policy for next five years.