Textile Policy contradicts Trade Policy targets

KARACHI - The first-ever Textile Policy announced on Wednesday has contradicted the projections of exports reflected in the new Trade Policy that was introduced last month, The Nation learnt. The three-year Trade Policy envisages about $5.62 billion worth increase in total exports in three years, from fiscal year 2009-10 to 2012. According to Trade Policy, the overall exports should reach $23.40 billion from $17.78 billion in 2008-09 by the year 2012. Whereas, the Textile Policy has anticipated textile exports growth to $19 billion by 2012, from $10 billion in 2008-09 and $25 billion by FY2014. The Textile Policy has projected $3b average per annum growth - $15b total increase in textile exports in five years. If one goes by the Textile Policys projection, the national exports would settle at $27 billion in next three years that too by ignoring increase in exports of other sectors, by 2012 as against the Trade Policys estimate of $23.30b worth total exports by FY2012, textile experts said. They told The Nation that projecting $3 billion worth annual increase in just textile exports was a dream only in the prevailing circumstances as the exports were already falling below the previous years benchmark. From April to July 2009, the overall exports have witnessed 20 percent and above this level decline in a month and how the over-ambitious target of raising textile exports by $3 billion in a year could be achieved in this fiscal, they said. Talking about potential of growth in exports is entirely different from materializing the ambitious target that needs practical support and not lip service, they added. It is a good development that the Ministry of Textile has announced the first-ever Textile Policy with a key focus on promoting the largest industrial sector and its exports, a member of APTMA said. The Ministry, however, has prepared a highly doubtful target of raising textile exports by $25 billion in five years, he further said. The new Textile Police was announced on Wednesday and still the APTMA and its important members were not completely aware with the incentives and measures that would augment textile industry and exports in the years to come, he said. Meanwhile, in a joint press statement Council of All Pakistan Textile Mills, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association and All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association congratulated the government and the Ministry of Textile for presenting Pakistans first Textile Policy. These associations said after 62 years of existence of Pakistan, the largest sector that contributes 60 per cent of the total exports earnings and 42 per cent of the employment has finally received the Textile Policy that has set the target and direction for next five years. Textile industry has potential to touch the target of $25 billion within next five years. The associations thanked the Textile Minister for resolving the long-standing issue of the payment of remaining 60 per cent of Research and Development fund by allocating Rs5.40 billion for this purpose. They also appreciated the reintroduction of duty-drawback policy and for giving 1 per cent to the exporter of processed fabric, 2 per cent to home textile, 3 per cent to garment, apparel and another 1 per cent for the best export performance. Allocation of Rs42 billion for important textile industry is rally a commendable move and it would boost the exports, they added.

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