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KARACHI: Minister of State for Commerce and Textile Haji Mohammad Akram Ansari has said that issues confronting the textile sector will be sorted out on priority after the return of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from abroad.

Addressing industrialists and exporters of value-added textile sector at a dinner, organised by the Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Friday, Mr Ansari said a three-member committee has already been set up by the prime minister to look into the issues faced by the sector.

The committee comprising the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman, secretary commerce and secretary finance has been tasked to sort out delay in refund-related payments, waiver of 10 per cent performance condition to qualify for getting duty drawback on taxes (DDT) under the PM’s package and extending the period of package to three years.

The minister said that the short-term issues confronting the textile sector would be resolved within 15 days. He added that the PM’s relief package of Rs180 billion will be implemented in totality because fall in exports from $25bn to $20bn is alarming and there is an urgent need to revive exports in order to stop the trade gap from widening.

The minister, in full agreement with exporters, said that the cost of production is much higher than the regional countries and without giving level playing field to exporters they could not compete with their rivals on the world markets. He added that a meeting would be arranged with the prime minister so that stakeholders of the textile sector could have an opportunity to appraise him about the high production cost and also try to find a solution.

He agreed that special gas and power tariffs should be allowed to the textile sector.

Prominent among those present were Zubair Motiwala, Jawed Chanoi, Sheikh Mohammed Shafiq, Jawed Bilwani, Mian Zahid Hussain and diplomats from Iran, Muscat and Russia.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2017