Tiles in­dus­try can save, earn for­eign ex­change: Jaf­fery

The Financial Daily - - NATIONAL -

KARACHI: "Im­port sub­sti­tut­ing in­dus­tries like tiles in­dus­try com­pet­ing with the in­ter­na­tional play­ers on global fronts should be given as much im­por­tance as ex­port ori­ented in­dus­tries as sav­ing for­eign ex­change is equally im­por­tant as earn­ing the same." This was stated by chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO) of Shab­bir Tiles Ma­sood Jaf­fery, says a Press re­lease.

"Lo­cal tiles in­dus­try re­quires sup­port of the gov­ern­ment to con­sider clas­si­fy­ing the tiles in­dus­try with the five zero rated ex­port ori­ented in­dus­tries; raise ITPs of im­ported tiles; and curb smug­gling of Ira­nian tiles in the coun­try which is hurt­ing not only lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers but the gov­ern­ment rev­enues as well," said Ma­sood.

He said the in­dus­try needs a level play­ing field against the heav­ily favoured im­ports also to flour­ish and ex­plore ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties to earn pre­cious for­eign ex­change for the coun­try. "Re­duc­tion in high en­ergy and other in­put costs along with higher du­ties and taxes on im­ported tiles will be a step in the right di­rec­tion," he added.

"ITPs have de­creased in the last 12 years in Pak­istan, while man­u­fac- tur­ing cost has in­creased dras­ti­cally and ru­pee de­val­u­a­tion against dol­lar is also af­fect­ing the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment," said Ma­sood while adding that new play­ers com­ing in the in­dus­try are also con­cerned.

"The gov­ern­ment should care­fully re­view the ITPs set for tiles based on the data that can be sought from ex­port­ing coun­tries and with­draw the un­fair ad­van­tage im­ported tiles are en­joy­ing due to un­re­al­is­tic val­u­a­tion," said Ma­sood.

"De­spite all the is­sues we are fac­ing, the in­dus­try is con­tin­u­ously in­vest­ing to ex­pand and im­prove qual­ity of our tiles fur­ther so that we can meet the fu­ture lo­cal de­mand and also tap the ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties," said Ma­sood.

Shab­bir Tiles and Ceram­ics Lim­ited (STILE) is plan­ning to in­vest fur­ther around half a bil­lion ru­pees in ad­di­tion to the pre­vi­ous in­vest­ment of about Rs 1.25 bil­lion thereby in­tro­duc­ing new prod­ucts with ex­cel­lent sur­face fin­ishes which will also lead to in­crease in pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity.

The CEO added that their in­vest­ment of Rs 1.25 bil­lion was meant for ef­fi­ciency of costs and on im­prov­ing the qual­ity of the prod­ucts which can meet the global stan­dards and of­fer value for money.

The ini­tial in­vest­ment was for phase-1 in which plant and ma­chiner­ies were be­ing mod­ern­ized, said Ma­sood, adding that now in the sec­ond phase of half bil­lion ru­pees' in­vest­ment is to sup­port prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and to ac­com­mo­date cus­tomer pref­er­ences. We would also in­crease our deal­er­ship net­work na­tion­wide.

"This is be­ing done to ef­fec­tively com­pete in­ter­na­tion­ally also by in­tro­duc­ing new de­signs and sizes while main­tain­ing high qual­ity as of Ital­ian and Span­ish tiles," said CEO Shab­bir Tiles.

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