ISLAMABAD: The implementation of the new textile package, to be announced next month, would help boost the export of value-added products by more than $2 billion, besides creating five million jobs in a year, said Textile Minister Abbas Khan Afridi.

“The increase in the value-added exports proceeds will be visible in the export figures for the year 2015-16,” Mr Afridi said while responding to a question at a joint press conference here on Tuesday.

The textile minister said drawback for local taxes and levies to be given to exporters on FOB values of their enhanced exports if increased beyond 10 per cent (over last year’s exports).

The rate of support for garments will be 4pc, followed by 2pc for made-ups and 1pc on processed fabrics exports. The rate of mark-up for export refinance scheme of the State Bank of Pakistan was reduced to 7.5pc from 9.4pc.

Mr Afridi said the SBP would be providing Long-Term Financing Facility (LTFF) at 9 per cent to the value-added sector to upgrade their units.

He said the exemption on textile machinery, which was about to end on June 30 this year, has been extended for another two years. All admissible refunds claims of exporters would be disposed of within three months, if not earlier, he said.

The government has allocated Rs4.4bn to train 120,000 people, the textile minister said, adding that each trainee would be given a monthly stipend of Rs8,000 during the three-month programme.

Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir, who also spoke on the occasion, said the government would make legislations for the initiatives announced by the PPP-led coalition government in the second strategic trade policy framework (STPF 2013-15), including creation of Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of Pakistan and establishment of Pakistan Land Port Authority.

The finance ministry has withheld Rs20bn under the export development fund, he said. “We will convince the ministry to release the amount.”

On the poor enforcement of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, the minister said the authority would be reformed.

Asked when trade will be liberalised with India, he said it would take a few months after the settlement of the new government in the neighbouring country.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2014

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