ISLAMABAD - Minister for Textile Industry, Makhdoom Shahabuddin Thursday informed the lower house of the Parliament that Pakistan would be declared as least developed country in 2014 that will allow it to enjoy the benefits in terms of exporting its goods free of tax.
He told the house that Bangladesh was enjoying the same status that is why the textile industrialists were going there to invest as it decreased their cost to compete in the international market. But he said that this impression was wrong that textile industry was fleeing the country rather they were heading to Bangladesh to expand their business.
During the question hour he also informed the house that the government had provided Rs 22 billion to Pakistan Steel Mills in 4 years under bail out package. He said that though the Mill was in loss but 5000 employees were made permanent during the 4 years time those were also causing loss of Rs 2 billion per anum. Replying to a question Makhdoom told the National Assembly that till 2008 Pakistan Steel Mills was not in loss but from the said time ahead, it is continuously going in loss.
He said the government had allowed investment by residents of Pakistan, including firms and companies, for investment in companies abroad with prior approval of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
The minister while answering to another question said that no business organisation had shifted to Sri Lanka from Pakistan but he said that some had opened offices in Bangladesh to enhance their textile exports from Pakistan through Bangladesh. He also said that these businesses in Bangladesh were being established much earlier to the energy crisis started in the country.
Moreover, he said that his ministry had taken some steps to support the textile industry and to discourage them fleeing from the country that included drawback of local taxes and levies scheme, EOBI contribution re-imbursement scheme, mark-up rate support scheme for textile sector, export finance mark-up rate support scheme and duty free import of textile related machinery facility.
Kashmala Tariq during the question hour raised the question that automobile industry was violating the agreement signed with government of Paksitan that clearly mentions that after 10 years of business these companies would start manufacturing cars in Pakistan but they were still assembling cars and were importing parts from Japan. Makhdoom in her reply said that to curb such practice, government was planning to give them competition by offering Chinese investors to come to Pakistan and manufacture cars those he said, would be much cheaper than already available vehicles in the country.
Parliamentary Secretary for Water and Power informed the house that works on 50-megawatt wind power was in experimental process and this much energy was being generated at the moment and was being supplied to national grid.
Many of the questions made on Minister for Water and Power went unanswered during the question hour. Speaker National Assembly showed his anger on the issue and said that the questions made were very simple and there was no question that could not be replied.
Khursheed Shah suggested in the house that Minister for Water and Power should be served show cause notice for his irresponsible attitude. Speaker asked the Parliamentary Secretary to inquire into the matter and submit the report to the house within five days.