Textile policy gets mixed response

Published February 11, 2015
A worker examines fabric at a textile factory - AP/File
A worker examines fabric at a textile factory - AP/File

KARACHI: Textile Policy 2014-19 drew mixed reaction from the textile industry, with the value-added sector believing it would help boost exports, and spinners bemoaning lack of incentives.

However, most of the industry leaders fear that the coming months could be more difficult for textile exports and the government should do something about it.

Pakistan Apparel Forum’s Chairman Muhammad Jawed Bilwani said the new five-year policy would go a long way in benefiting the entire textile sector and boosting exports of value-added garments and apparel.

Under the present economic circumstances no better policy could have been expected, he said, but stressed on implementing the policy in letter and spirit to get required targets.

Mr Bilwani said the target to double value-addition from $1 billion per million bales to $2bn in five years “will undoubtedly help raise textile exports from $13bn to $26bn”.

It would also facilitate additional investment of $5bn in plant and machinery and up-gradation in technology which would help create three million jobs through internships in large industrial set-ups of textiles, he added.

Shabir Ahmed, Chairman of Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association (PBEA), also welcomed the policy. He said duty drawbacks of 2pc on made-ups and 4pc on garments allowed only on incremental exports should have been on entire exports.

He suggested that a timeline should have been fixed for payments of all kinds of refunds, including sales tax, duty drawbacks, etc and in case of any delay mark-up should be paid to exporter on delayed payments.

On the other hand, spinners feel that no incentive has been given to their sector, which they say caters to the needs of the downstream industry and also earns foreign exchange.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Chairman S.M. Tanveer said the new textile policy has totally ignored the spinning sector.

He said the Rs65bn incentive package announced in the policy was not for the entire textile industry, as much of it would be spent on developing training institutions to produce skilled manpower.

Mr Tanveer said that even in the previous textile policy a hefty amount of Rs188bn was earmarked for incentive package, but hardly Rs28bn was disbursed. This had totally shattered the confidence of the textile industry and it was not ready to believe that the new policy would be different, he said.

Published in Dawn February 11th , 2015

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