Govt should devalue Pak Rupee by 15pc or withdraw taxes: Tanveer

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All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman SM Tanveer has said that the government should either devalue Pakistani Rupee by 15 percent or withdraw taxes, surcharges and gas infrastructure development cess worth Rs 175 billion from the textile industry.

He was addressing a press conference along with APTMA Punjab Chairman Sh Muhammad Akbar at the APTMA Punjab House on Tuesday.

He said the APTMA had deferred its countrywide strike for a month on the request of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. He said the APTMA had so far held four important meetings with the government. He said he was holding the press conference to apprise the media about the progress on parleys with the government on weekly basis.

He maintained that the APTMA was satisfied with the developments on negotiations with the government. “The APTMA was unable to pay Rs 72 billion surcharge on the electricity bills and Rs 38 billion Gas Infrastructure Development Cess,” he said.

He said the latest exports data suggest that the overall exports of Pakistan had declined by 17 percent in value terms during the month of July 2015 against the corresponding period. “Textile industry exports are a major component of the country’s exports and it is likely to be dropped by $4 billion in case no immediate step to redress the situation is taken,” he stressed.

“About one million jobs are attached with the exports of every billion dollar exports and Pakistan cannot afford to let four million labourers jobless,” he added.

He said the situation of the textile industry was getting worst from bad and the government was needed to save it from total collapse. “Already 30 percent of the production capacity has been closed down while 50 percent of the power looms sector is in acute trouble,” he pointed out.

The APTMA chairman has appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to act immediately and save the textile industry from a total collapse. “We are with the government on its economic agenda but we want to make clear to the government that the industry was not in a position to pay electricity bills carrying the surcharge and GIDC in the current month bills,” he said.

He confirmed that the government had assured the APTMA to pay back the refund claims by 30th of August while resolving the textile industry issues by 31st August.