“Anti-industry” policies of the government: Textile Association to protest

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The textile industry is all set to stage countrywide demonstrations along with a special protest in front of National Assembly in Islamabad on July 7. The protests are said to be in reaction to “anti-export” and “anti-industry” policies of the government.

The demonstration of 7th July would be the next step in the series of organized protests initiated by the Textile Association after the failure of the Nawaz government to address the obstacle faced by the mill owners and workers.

Along with the 7th July protest in front of the National Assembly, the protestors will also hold a convention in which the concurrent crisis of the industry will be discussed.

According to the association members, the government including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, despite their several calls to address the issue still haven’t given a desirable response while the relief package announced for the textile industry is still undelivered.

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According to the details shared by the association’s head Amir Fayyaz, along with the 7th July protest in front of the National Assembly, the protestors will also hold a convention in which the concurrent crisis of the industry will be discussed.

On Tuesday, the textile industry workers in agitation observed a black day, where they halted the work for two hours.

Fayyaz has also mentioned the three demands they would be making to the government on 7th July. The demands include implementation of the Prime Minister’s package for exporters in letter and spirit, clearing the outstanding dues, and bringing the energy prices compared to other regional countries.

The high input cost of the electricity and gas have rendered Pakistani textile industry less competitive in the international market.

At the start of this year, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced a package worth Rs 180 billion to revive the falling exports of the industry. However, only Rs 4 billion were allocated in the 2017- 2018 budget which the association termed as a big joke.

Almost Rs 200 billion of the industry is stuck up under Government’s sales tax and duty, which is creating liquidity problems for the industry to buy the raw material.

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The high input cost of the electricity and gas have rendered Pakistani textile industry less competitive in the international market. The per unit price of electricity is recorded to be much higher in Pakistan, i.e. is Rs 11 per kWh as compared to 7 per kWh in Bangladesh.

Ejaz Ahsan, the Punjab Chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association in a press conference on Tuesday said that contrary to the government’s claims of no load shedding, the industry is facing a load shedding of 10 hours from day one of the Ramadan.

The country’s economy may experience further crisis and the deficit in the balance of trade if the government kept on showing continued negligence.

Textile accounts for the major share of exports in the Pakistan’s economy. Such power outages not only halt the production but also delay the completion of international orders timely.

With the international oil prices much lower than in the past, the reasons for the reluctance to transfer this benefit to the producers are unknown.

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The country’s economy may experience further crisis and the deficit in the balance of trade if the government kept on showing continued negligence in expanding the most profit yielding export of the country.

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