Ministries differ on exports targets: ICCI

ISLAMABAD - The lack of coordination among various organs of the government is well obvious from the fact that the ministries of commerce and textile have set entire different targets for the exports for the ongoing fiscal year 2009-10. Mian Shaukat Masud, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), stated this while talking to TheNation here on Tuesday. He said there were lot of conflicts between the both ministries in settling export targets in trade and textile policies, which were separately announced in July and August respectively. It may be mentioned here that the ministry of commerce, in the Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2009-12, has predicted that overall export will grow by US $1 billion in the financial year 2009-12 with a growth ratio of 6 per cent. Ministry of commerce has set $18.86 billion export target for the year 2009-10 which was $17.78 billion in 2008-09. Contrary to this, the ministry of textile industry has forecast a US $25 billion export target for next five years, which means that the textile export would see a growth of US $5 billion per year during the next five years. Shaukat said if textile exports grew by $5 billion in 2009-10, how overall export of the country would increase by only $1 billion. He said that there were no consultations between two ministries in order to settle the export target for the next year and preparing two policies. However, he said, the ministry of textile had announced positive steps in the textile policy but so far no steps were taken for their implementation. He criticised the government for not issuing SROs and notifications for giving relief to the textile sector. He said ministries should announce correct figures in its policies, adding the textile sector was already facing a lot of problems due to long-hour power shutdown and gas loadshedding in the winter, which were hampering the growth of the sector. He was of the view that the government would not achieve the textile export target of $25 billion in the next five years. He said the target of 6 per cent growth in exports for the current financial year set in the Strategic Trade Policy Framework could be achieved if government provided consistent power and gas supply to the industries throughout the year. He further said foreign investors were hesitating to invest in the country due to law and order situation and so the government should provide incentives to the local investors as they could grow the exports.

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