July 14, 2013
The government has decided to review the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2012-15 to incorporate the input of textile industry to enhance textile exports, well-placed sources told us. The new government, contrary to the previous government has started negotiations with all stakeholders to enhance textile export of the country, said sources, adding that in this regard as a first initiative STPF (2012-15) would be reviewed where the input of textile industry would be incorporated, which was ignored in the past.
The Commerce Division has approached the Textile Division and sought their input for the remaining period of STPF (2012-15), sources added. The decision would also help textile industry to get maximum benefits from the proposed European Union”s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus. Pakistan is seeking GSP-Plus status to secure greater access to the EU markets, sources added.
The previous government had announced five-year Textile Policy (2009-14) envisaging textile export target of $25 billion while total textile exports are no more than $13 billion mainly because the key initiatives of the policy are yet to be implemented, sources added. Even after a passage of about four years of the policy, SROs incorporating only 30 percent of the announced schemes have been issued while the remaining are yet to be issued. The government had announced different schemes as well as Drawbacks on Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) for textile sector in the Textile Policy. The pre-policy 60 percent Research and Development (R&D) pending dues that the policy committed to releasing have not yet been cleared.
The Textile Policy also committed to providing regular supply of gas and power to the textile industry. However, it has failed to provide these facilities resulting in huge loss to the industry. The previous government announced Technology Upgradation Support in textile policy and later issued Technology Upgradation Support Order 2010 (April) to provide incentives to textile machinery and technology with the objective of attracting investment in the textile sector. However the specifications of the machinery/equipment eligible under the fund is yet to be decided which resulted in delaying implementation of the incentives for textile sector.
Expressing full confidence in the new government, Pakistan Apparel Forum Chairman Javed Bilwani said that the government has started negotiations with all stakeholders for enhancing textile export, which is a good sign. In this regard last week a meeting was held, chaired by Secretary Commerce where proposals were sought from the value-added textile sector, Bilwani said, adding that they proposed to the government to give priority to providing utilities, relaxation in taxes and clear the outstanding dues under different schemes.
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Chairman Ahsan Bashir told Business Recorder that textiles is one of the most important foreign exchange earners of the country, besides creating employment therefore the government should take all the stakeholders on board in policy making. The government should give priority to this sector in utilities including gas and power, said Bashir, adding that the industry should be taken on board prior to finalising the new energy policy. Courtesy Business Recorder
Published in ZaraiMedia.com