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Saturday, May 18, 2024

APTMA seeks govt. attention towards issues facing Pakistan’s textile industry

APTMA has requested an urgent meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to discuss the critical issues facing Pakistan's textile industry as they are resulting in huge financial losses to the national economy.

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has urged the government to address the critical issues currently facing the country’s textile industry. APTMA Secretary General Shahid Sattar wrote a letter to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the issues.

In the letter, SG APTMA stated that the Regionally Competitive Energy Tariffs (RCETs) across the value chain should be continued. It was highlighted in the letter that the RCET has allowed Pakistan Textile exports to compete internationally, resulting in an increase in textile exports from $13 billion to $19.35 billion in 2022 which is $7 billion over the last 2 years while being all set to increase a further $ 5 billion in the current financial year.

It was further explained that the availability of this RCET across the entire value chain has to be maintained and assured as Pakistan’s textile industry is fragmented. International products can only remain competitively priced if the RCET is available to the entire chain.

The efficacy of the tariffs can be gauged from the impressive growth in the industry. The cost to the exchequer of maintaining the RCET over the last 4 years has been 2.67 percent making these export dollars the cheapest sustainable source of foreign currency.

Read more: Bold steps needed to achieve IMF targets: APTMA Chief’s advice to PM Shehbaz

“Continuation of the RCET is therefore essential for this growth momentum to be sustained. We, therefore, request that RCETs be continued in the light of the above submissions,” APTMA SG wrote in the letter.

Critical imports of spare parts and other raw materials

Moreover, APTMA has been reiterating to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for quite a long time now about the pending cases of a large number of critical imports of machinery and raw materials of our member mills. APTMA has not been apprised of the status of its requests from SBP and the textile industry is now in great difficulty because of the shutting down of mills as a consequence of these delayed approvals.

“The matter requires urgent resolution as the delayed imports are translating into huge financial losses to not only these importers but also the national economy in terms of lost production and exports,” the APTMA SG said.

Moreover, the SBP is stating they will release imports under Chapter 84-85 only to direct exporters and indirect exporters are neglected which is a matter of grave concern as indirect exporters provide the intermediate goods to exporters. Without these intermediate goods exports are now suffering and will drop significantly over time.

Read more: APTMA rejects asking govt. to lift ban on Indian cotton import

“We reiterate that delay in the opening of LCs for machinery parts and out rightly neglecting indirect exporters has resulted in shutting down of our member mills via curtailment of production of goods for exports and will further cause the firms and national economy to suffer badly,” the letter warned.