LAHORE -The Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PCMEA) urged the government to support the carpet industry to re-capture global carpet markets. In a weekly review meeting of the Association here Sunday, PCMEA Senior Vice Chairman Usman Ashraf said that due to increase in the prices of raw materials, expensive labour and other difficulties, Pakistan’s hand-made carpet industry had lost its footings in the global market. PCMEA Senior Central Leader Abdul Latif Malik, Chairperson of Carpet Training Institute (CTI) Ijazur Rehman, senior members Riaz Ahmed, Pervez Hanif, Saeed Khan, Maj (R) Akhtar Nazir, Akbar Malik and others attended the meeting. Usman Ashraf said that in 2005-06, Pakistan’s carpet exports were $278 million and now it reduced to double digit, which was very alarming. He said that the freight charges of exports by air and sea were very high and at least 50 percent subsidy should be given on these, and special subsidy should be given to those participating in international exhibitions; free trade agreements should be concluded with various countries in which hand-woven carpets should also be included in the priority list. The vice chairman demanded that all pending claims of exporters especially in respect of the DLTL (Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies) should be paid.