ISLAMABAD - After the implementation of textile policy that it is likely to be announced in the second week of July, people will see rapid growth in textile sector of the country and there will be an increase of at least $1 billion in the first year and $2 billion from the second year.
Federal Textile Minister Abbas Khan Afridi in an interview with TheNation said that the government had adopted the policy of giving incentives to the value-added sector of textile industry that will improve the textile exports of the country which presently stood at $13 billion. “We are going to establish business center in Islamabad where different brands (companies) would be able to establish their offices and that will facilitate foreign buyers to come to one place and meet the vendors and place their orders”, the minister said. Such centers are established by other countries such as India and China as well, he said, adding that this will directly impact the exports of the country.
Minister said, “Labour cost is increasing in China and the investors have to move for the cheaper labour markets. So it is the golden opportunity for Pakistan to increase its exports and we will do that”. To incentivize the textile industry of the country, the government has increased the rebate on textile exports.
Earlier the rebate was 3 per cent but now it has been increased to 4 per cent and furthermore the government is taking steps to address the sales tax refunds issue of the exporters. Minister said that within next 3 months all pending claims of sales tax refund will be cleared. He also said that he was even in the favour of abolishing sales tax from the textile sector to boost the sector and to curb fraudulent sales tax refund claims.
Abbas Afridi said that under Export Finance Scheme of Textile Ministry, interest rate of bank loans for textile industry has also been decreased to 7.5 per cent from earlier 9.5 per cent.
He further said that the government has also launched the training scheme in value added sector and all the available institutions in Punjab and other provinces will be used for the purpose. Unfortunately nobody cared to pay attention to this ministry and Pakistan remained behind other countries in textile exports. Bangladesh that was far behind from Pakistan in textile exports is now exporting textile products worth $26 billion and Pakistan is still standing at $13 billion, minister said. “We are going to boost the exports despite all odds being faced by the ministry, he aimed.
The government is also going to establish Model Cotton Trading House in Multan to facilitate the farmers and traders. After the establishment of this facility, it will be very easier for all the stakeholders of cotton business to trade their commodities, minister added. He further said that he was convincing the textile owners to establish 30-40MW power plants jointly which will be run on coal and they will be able to get uninterrupted power supply for their industry and hopefully it will be made possible in near future.
He said that through these plants the electricity will cost no more than Rs 9 per unit. About the textile policy, the minister said that it is going to be announced in the second week of July.