LAHORE: The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) on Wednesday urged the government to bring down import duty on polyester staple fibre (PSF) to zero.

In a press release, Aptma acting chairman Wisal Monnoo said that all imports of specialty fibres including acrylic be allowed at zero per cent import duty enabling the industry to diversify its product base.

He further said that imports of viscose staple fibre, which is not being manufactured locally, should also be allowed at zero per cent customs duty.

“The country’s textile industry is unable to compete in man-made fibre (MMF) textile and clothing products owing to the protection extended to local PSF,” the Aptma office bearer said.

“Presently, 6pc customs duty and import incidental together with local PSF manufacturers’ margin make PSF available at around 20pc price differential,” he added.

The textile industry is predominately cotton based with an odd fibre mix, i.e. 80pc cotton and 20 pc MMF being used as against the global trend of 70pc MMF and 30pc cotton. This inhibits the textile industry to diversify its products and markets, Aptma maintains.

“The textile industry is still unable to produce exportable surplus, in particular MMF-based textile products, to benefit from enormous opportunities under GSP+ of export of synthetic based textile products,” Monnoo said.

He said the proposal to increase custom duty on PSF import would not only make export-led textile goods more unviable but also PSF-based textile goods for domestic consumption unaffordable.

Already, he said, cheaper import and smuggling of fabric and synthetic yarn have made inroads into the domestic market due to present high polyester tariff.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2015

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