APTMA Punjab Not Appeased By zero-Rated Regime
The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab chapter is still angry at the government despite winning a zero-rate regime from the government in the federal budget 2015-16. Chairman of Punjab Chapter Aamir Fayyaz has disclosed to the media that extraordinary general meeting of the members have given him a mandate of announcing black day after giving a generous one-month period to the government for negotiations.
He has made it clear that the APTMA Punjab will close down mills either in the later part of August or first week of September. He also criticised the government for borrowing $3 billion from the IMF while losing similar amount of exports during the outgoing fiscal. He termed it ironic that oil prices are at the lowest ebb, but the trade gap is still hitting through the roof due to faulty export policies of the government. “It appears that the government is not willing to prioritise exports,” he lamented.
The APTMA Punjab chief also criticised the government severely for reciting the mantra of the CPEC without learning anything from China, which has built up reserves through exports. He also quoted the examples of Japan, India and Bangladesh for piling up reserves by supporting the export-oriented industries.
“Pakistan cannot grow until the government gives priority to the exports,” he asserted. He said the country’s foreign debt has registered an increase of $48 billion, but the federal Finance Minister has no idea how the poor Pakistanis will pay back this huge amount of debt if there is no growth in exports. “The government has no repayment plans because it has no plans to strengthen exports,” he added.
He said the Punjab houses 70 percent of the textile industry where the cost of doing business has been skyrocketing comparing with the other parts of the country. A supply of substandard cotton seed by the government last year resulted into 40% crop failure in Punjab, he reminded. The farmers have suffered a loss of $1.5 billion and they have shifted from cotton to other crops this year. “It is highly unfortunate that the Punjab Agriculture Department has no plans regarding the research on seeds”, he added and advised the government to engage Monsanto for research purposes.
“Textile industry cannot grow without a strong cotton crop, as already the exports have dropped by 7.4%.” He said the government is shifting the blame towards depression in the international market, which is not true as to how the exports of Bangladesh and Vietnam have grown in this world’s recession. “Bangladesh has registered a growth of 8% and Vietnam 15% in the same period when we have lost exports by 7.4%,” he pointed out.
He said it is not due to recession, but wrong priorities of the government, which has taken exports to abyss. “Pakistan has lost $1.4 billion exports annually over the last three years while Bangladesh gained by $3 billion, India $4 billion and Vietnam by $8 billion,” he argued. He said Pakistan’s share to international market has reduced to 1.5% from 2.3% earlier while shares of India, China, Bangladesh and Vietnam have registered stellar growth.

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