KARACHI: Federal Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi has said the upcoming Textile Policy 2014-19 would revive the industry and promote value-addition to achieve $1 billion growth in the sector’s exports every year.

Addressing business and industry leaders at a luncheon meeting, organised by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday, the minister said the government was conscious of the fact that only textile industry could provide jobs in large numbers. The policy would encourage exports of value-added textile goods rather than raw material or semi-finished goods, he added.

The minister categorically stated that export of raw material could not be stopped altogether, but the policy objective was to minimise it by enhancing exports of value-added textile goods.

“If we want to create jobs we have to go for value-addition at every stage as nowhere in the world raw material is exported,” the minister asserted.

He said that the policy was being framed in consultation with all the stakeholders and the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would be given due importance.

Afridi assured that the upcoming policy would not cater to the need of single segment, but the entire chain of textile industry.

He hoped that sales tax refunds pertaining to last two years were likely to be cleared in three months, but assured that his ministry would ensure future refund payments would be made within 45 days as per Sales Tax Rules.

The minister also mentioned incentives given in the budget 2014-15, including rebate on incremental increase in exports and reduction in refinance rate from 9.5 to 7.5pc.

FPCCI President Zakaria Usman drew the att­e­n­­tion of the minister towards acute shortage of ele­ctricity, gas and water and said that it was a major constraint for the value-added textile sector.

He also raised the issue of increase in Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC).

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2014

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