The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has voiced its serious concerns over the alarming fall of 16 percent in textile and clothing exports in March and set up a task force to discuss the gravity of the situation. The force on ‘sustainability and way forward’ has a strong representation of all sub-sectors including spinning, weaving, processing, home textiles, knitwear, woven garments, towels and synthetic textile.
The central body has given mandate to central chairman SM Tanveer and co-chairman Gohar Ejaz to hold deliberations on the factors contributing to this situation and suggest the way forward in terms of viability and sustainability of the industry. Aptma spokesman said the force would formulate a strategy document to restore viability of the textile industry and undertake investment initiatives to achieve a double-digit growth. The spokesman also said economic managers and concerned ministries would be approached to secure enabling environment for sustainability and growth in domestic and the global market place.
He said the force mandate would encompass an immediate reduction in cost of business and devise a methodology for an effective zero-rating regime for export-oriented industry and also deliberate on various incidents of taxes, cess, surcharges and inefficiencies and disadvantages of the system burdening the industry at around five to six percent of the sales value for spinning, weaving and processing mills, making basic textiles unviable for value added exports.
“All these three sub-sectors are important parts of the value chain, energy dependent, operate 24/7 and thus are more exposed to inefficiencies of the system. The government has only two options to save the textile industry. It will either have to reduce the cost of doing business of the export-oriented textile industry or to bring rupee at its realistic value,” he added. The first task force meeting is scheduled for April 28.