LAHORE, Nov 10: Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has said that the GSP Plus status will be of no use in case energy needs of the textile industry are not fulfilled, the law and order situation and terrorism are not controlled.

“The government will have to relax import policy to empower Punjab-based value-added textile industry to get the maximum benefit of GSP Plus status, as the country has no raw material except cotton,” said PRGMEA (NZ) Senior Vice-President Jawwad A Chaudhry in a statement on Sunday.

With strict import policies in Pakistan, the local garment industry was not fully prepared to take advantage of duty-free access to the EU market under GSP Plus status mainly due to shortage of raw material. Pakistan could utilise only three textile categories out of total 73 types relaxed by the EU countries for duty-free import from Pakistan in 2013, he said.

Mr Chaudhry said exporters from various industries in Pakistan were expecting the GSP Plus access to European markets, which promised huge potential for multiplying the country’s current exports.

Appealing to the authorities to comply with all the requirements of GSP Plus, he pointed out the condition that the export market share of any product should not exceed the 6 per cent ceiling of import of European Union. Most of the textile items included in the list of GSP Plus items have already crossed the 6 per cent ceiling set by the GSP plus condition.

Mr Chaudhry expressed disappointment over the FBR delaying tactics, as no company has got refund for 2 per cent sales tax on purchases of raw material for export since February 2013 while refund claims of billions of rupees of 2010 have also been pending yet.

He said revenue generation through taxes was not a good approach by holding the value-added textile industry hostage.

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