KARACHI: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has stated that Pakistan had lost US$25 billion during last five years because of a decline in exports.
Zahid Mazhar, newly elected chairman of APTMA, Sindh Balochistan Region, hoped that the government of Imran Khan would implement the textile policy presented by his team during the visit to APTMA early this year, so that the issues and problems faced by the textile industry may be resolved as the country has already suffered loss in exports of almost US$25 billion during the last five years.
He demanded a review of Free Trade Agreement with China, as it was charging 3.5 percent duty on textile imports from Pakistan while had imposed no duty on imports from ASEAN countries.
Mazhar also demanded the government to remove custom duty and anti-dumping duty on import of Polyester Staple Fiber, which acts as a substitute for cotton to enable the industry and its value chain to remain competitive in the international market.
Zahid Mazhar urged the new government to give attention to the cotton crop which has witnessed a massive decline over the last few years due to the lowest yield of cotton farming, which needs to be addressed on urgent basis.
He said four years ago the country had achieved the highest cotton crop of 14.87 million bales of cotton which had fallen to 10.8 million bales as against the actual potential of 17.5 million bales annually.
Due to the shortage issues the spinning industry has to import annually almost 3.5 million bales of raw cotton every year to meet its consumption requirement.
Despite of the acute shortage of cotton, there is three percent custom duty, two percent additional custom duty and five percent sales tax imposed on import of raw cotton, which should be removed immediately, he demanded.
On the contrary, he said, the government had reduced regulatory duty on the import of finished cotton yarns from 10 percent to 5.0 percent, which was earlier levied to restrict increase in import of undervalue and subsidized cotton yarn entering in our domestic commerce.
He said that the country in order to survive has to reach annual GDP growth of seven percent or more which is only possible if the government immediately starts giving attention to the export sectors specially the textile industry.
In order to encourage industrialization and revive the exports of textile sector, the government would have to address issues such as immediate payment of their long overdue refunds of sales tax, income tax and export DLTL, which was hurting their liquidity.