ISLAMABAD: Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan on Wednesday said the government has proposed Rs200 billion bailout package for revival and modernisation of textile industry.

While informing the Senate Standing Committee on Textile Industry, he said that on the directive of the prime minister a special package was under consideration for introducing new technology and massive infrastructural modernisation of the textile industry.

The committee’s meeting was at the Ministry of Textile Industry with Senator Mohsin Aziz in the chair.

Mr Dastgir said that the government would give special incentives on taxes for the industries to enhance value addition.

He said that the government was committed to technological revival of textile sector and would compete with other regional competitors emerged in last decade.

A six-member committee consisting of officials from relevant ministries and stakeholders was constituted to review the challenges facing by the textile industry.

The minister added that the committee has come up with comprehensive recommendations for the revival of the industry.

The meeting however expressed strong reservation over performance of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC).Mr Dastgir said that the government was looking into public-private partnership for better solution and enhancing the capacity of the institutions, which are not functioning.

Our reporter adds: Meanwhile, the Senate Standing Committee on Finance was irked by the government’s lack of cooperation in providing information related to the settlement of Rs480 billion power sector circular debt.

The committee meeting held on Wednesday was chaired by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla who advised to constitute a sub-committee to hold regular meetings on one-point agenda of power sector circular debt.

Some members raised objection over referring the matter to the sub-committee without a detailed briefing. The other option was to refer the issue to the Senate. Mushahid Ullah Khan requested not to adopt an extreme position.

Finally, it was decided that the Ministry of Water and Power and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) be given a week’s time to furnish the requested information.

It was told that the information sought from FBR as to who had issued the SRO to exempt certain people from tax payment was not provided yet. An official of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) said the authority had nothing the do with the circular debt as its role was tariff determination.

Joint Secretary Ministry of Water and Power Zargham Khan requested the committee more time to compile information for submission.

The power ministry also dismissed reports that it was considering to trim the powers of Nepra and stated it was going to take a proposal to the Council of Common Interests (CCI) and “the proposal does not infringe on regulator,” said Zargham.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2016

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