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Standing Committee on Commerce concerned over high textile tariffs

The textile and apparel industry makes around 60% of the country's exports, the chairman said and called upon the government to take appropriate steps pertaining to the rationalization of the high tariffs.

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Chairman Syed Naveed Qamar, while presiding over the 20th meeting of the Standing Committee on Commerce, highlighted the grave issue of high textile tariffs in Pakistan and the negative impact it has on the country if we compare it to our regional actors.

The textile and apparel industry makes around 60% of the country’s exports, the chairman said and called upon the government to take appropriate steps pertaining to the rationalization of the high tariffs imposed on the Textile Sector.

Read more: Textile Sector challenges to be brought to PM’s attention, Razzak

Regarding the rationalization of tariffs, Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Commerce, Textile and Investment, apprised the committee of the National Tariff Commission’s (NTC) efforts to finish the study of the Textile Sector to rationalize the tariffs that are consistent with the guidelines of the study.

The study aims to rationalize tariffs on the inputs and intermediate goods utilized by the textile sector and make improvements to consumer welfare, among other things.

Read more: Breaking Out of the Textile Economy – Pakistan’s Industrial Policy for the Next Decade

During the meeting, proposal drafts for the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) were also mentioned. The Committee was also apprised by the Minister, of the agreement’s three months extension by the Cabinet, adding that this gives ample time to the relevant authorities to agree on the negotiations pertaining to the aforementioned agreement.

Razak Dawood further went on to state that Afghanistan has asked Pakistan Customs to shortlist more companies to ensure there are enough trackers, countering the dominance of TPL Trakker Ltd – Pakistan’s largest tracking service provider. The Covid-19 pandemic also played a part in the shortage of trackers.

Read more: Why is Pakistan’s textile sector losing international orders?

The attendees of the meeting included several member national assembly (MNAs), including, Muhammad Yaqoob Shaikh, Ali Khan Jadoon, Wajiha Akram, Mian Muhammad Shafiq, Farukh Khan, Sajida Begum, Rana Iradat Sharif Khan, Usman Ibrahim, Tahira Aurangzeb, Rasheed Ahmed Khan, Syed Javed Ali Shah Jillani, Mohsin Dawar, and Shaista Pervaiz.

Also present during the meeting besides Adviser for Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood, included, representatives and officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR), All Pakistan Textile Mill Association (APTMA) and Special Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Maritime Affairs.

Read more: Much needed ‘Textile Policy 2020-2025’ finally to be approved by PTI govt.

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