It is indeed a great irony and an apathy that the Prime Minister of Pakistan called a meeting of Exporters Associations after two and a half years – ie after 50% of the tenure of the incumbent government and further irony that in this crucial meeting he gave time to the Spinning Sector – APTMA and very little time to the vital Value Added Textile Export Sector, lamented Muhammad Jawed Bilwani.
He further said that the Prime Minister does not at all understand who should be given more time – the Spinning Sector with exports of just 1.8 billion dollars or the Value Added Apparel Sector which contributes 5.267 billion dollars of exports. Bilwani asserted that APTMA, which was given major of the time by the PM, in its presentation has surely taken the PM for ride by spinning a yarn and lying that it represents the entire Textile Sector and its exports is 13.5 billion dollars.
Bilwani further asserted that from this meeting it is very clear that the incumbent government PM, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif does not unfortunately understands nor realizes the crucial importance of the Value Added Apparel Sector and he further asserted that this so called business friendly government has closed its eyes and is being mislead by APTMA. This is the reason that while our exports are lagging far behind, Bangladesh’s exports are increasing day by day just because Bangladesh, realizing the crucial importance of the Apparel Sector is giving it Top Priority with the result that Bangladesh’s exports of Apparel Sector 24.5 billion dollars. He said that globally it is observed that exports of a country rise speedily as the main target is Apparel Sector whose Value Addition is 846% while the Spinning Sector’s Value Addition is just a mere 59%.
Bilwani further said that it is a pity that the entire Cabinet does not have the sense to feel all this and gives preference to APTMA while just one component of the Apparel Sector the hosiery knitted garments exports are 2.416 billion dollars with knitted fitted bed sheets worth 750 million dollars and woven garments exports are 2.101 billion dollars. Is it not apathetic that the Value Added Apparel Sector which contributes 5.267 billion dollars and the crucial engine of the economy generating the largest earning of foreign exchange and employment was not allowed to speak and make its presentation while Sectors with 200 million; 100 million and 50 million dollars were given time by the PM. From this attitude it is clear that this meeting called by the Prime Minister was just eyewash.
Bilwani stated that it is again an irony that the govt has not appointed a Textile Minister since last six and a half months and the vital textile sector does not have a Textile Minister in this computerised age, as yet. He wondered how then the Prime Minister can expect to increase the exports. Bilwani said that we clearly declared to Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar; Commerce Minister, Khurram Dastgir as well as Chairman, FBR during the last budget as well as during the current budget that unless the incumbent government does not give the necessary support and priority and makes the cost of inputs – gas, electricity, water and raw material tariff in comparison to its competitors specially Bangladesh, our exports will decrease drastically and now its look like the sheer negligence of the incumbent government will result in 20% decrease in exports for the fiscal year 2015-16 as 2 and a half months of this fiscal years have been passed. The PM of Pakistan called a meeting of Exporters Associations after two and a half years – ie after 50% of the tenure of the incumbent government and it looks like any decision that comes will be at the edge of the tenure of this government.
Finally Bilwani appealed to the Prime Minister to wake up now and realise the crucial importance of the Apparel Sector whose exports are the largest and also realise the importance being given by our competing countries – Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, China etc and in line with his desire to convert Pakistan into an Asian Tiger, kindly call a meeting separately of the Value Added Apparel Sector for a crystal clear presentation which will definitely prove an eye opener.-PR

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