LAHORE: The textile industry has asked the federal government to better announce regionally competitive energy tariff of electricity and gas for five years to attract huge investments in the textile sector and boost the country’s exports to $50 billion in next five years or so.
“For the last two years, we have been availing a competitive tariff at the rate of 9 cents per kWh and gas at $6.5 per mmBtu. The package has now been extended for another year (2021-22) which is appreciable. But we are of the view that this year-wise competitive tariff package is not feasible if we, especially in broader terms, want to expand this exports industry on a huge scale through making large investments,” said All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) newly elected chairman Abdul Rahim Nasir.
Talking to Dawn on Friday, Mr Nasir said textile exports grew 24pc to $15.5bn in 2020-21 from $12.5bn in FY20. “Since 70pc of textile exports from Pakistan were from value-added sector, the industry has projected the exports to $20.5bn for the ongoing fiscal year,” he said.
The textile exports registered a year-on-year growth of 29pc in the first two months (July and August) of 2021-22 as compared with the corresponding period of the preceding year. In August exports jumped by 45pc to $1.5bn against $1bn in August 2020.
“It is good that our textile exports are growing gradually despite the fact we are availing the subsidised energy package on yearly basis that generally brings squeezed or small investments. And if the government announces a straight five-year package, we can have big investments (local and international) in this sector that may take the exports to $50bn,” Mr Nasir claimed.
Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2021