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Textile producers blame govt for fast shrinking industry

KARACHI:  With each passing day, the delay in the textile policy is preventing the sector from producing effectively and the dejecte...

Textile producers blame govt for fast shrinking industry

KARACHI: 
With each passing day, the delay in the textile policy is preventing the sector from producing effectively and the dejected millers have not missed an opportunity to raise their voice.

The value-added textile sector on Wednesday hit out at the government for its failure to announce the policy, saying the indifference has proved detrimental for the industry.
Speaking at a press conference at the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) House here, representatives of different value-added textile associations said despite being seven months into the current fiscal year the policy is not in sight.
Textile producers blame govt for fast shrinking industry
“The government is mainly responsible for the fast shrinking textile industry over the last few years as it has failed in supporting the industry with an effective textile policy,” Pakistan Apparel Forum Chairman Jawed Bilwani said.
The impending policy was not the only concern for the millers, they also voiced resentment over their low input in the upcoming policy.
“The industry was on board when the previous government formulated the textile policy 2009-2014,” one of the industry players said. “But this time, the industry has serious reservations about many of the proposals of the upcoming policy.”
“We know for a fact that the new policy will also fail to achieve the desired results, unless the all-important finance ministry allocates funds and then release them for the industry,” said Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, a leading denim producer.
According to Baig, the main reason why the previous textile policy failed to achieve results was the suspension of funds within the first two years that were allocated to the industry.
The representatives said out of total funds of Rs188.6 billion allocated under the previous policy, only Rs28.34 billion was released and Rs160.26 billion is still awaited to be released. The government has also not released Rs13.17 billion of value added textile exporters under different claims.
Some proposed that the government should immediately announce the textile policy 2014-2019 and include their suggestions later. Council of All Pakistan Textiles Association Chairman M Zubair Motiwala said, “owing to low value addition, today Pakistan comes last in the list of top textile exporting countries.”
Towel Manufacturers Association Chairman Mehtabuddin Chawla added India has emerged as a leading textile exporter in recent months. “It will be hard for our exporters to compete if we failed to act immediately,” he said. Additionally, APTMA Sindh Balochistan Region Chairman Tariq Saud aired concern over the delay in approval of the much-awaited textile policy.
In a statement, Saud said inordinate delay in the approval of the new textile policy is depriving the sector of its due benefits, besides causing uncertainty and apprehension.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th,  2015.

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