Textile policy 2014-19 not yet functional: Chairman APTMA
Chairman APTMA S M Tanveer has said the Textile Policy 2014-19 has not seen daylight despite eight months of current fiscal, reflecting lack of interest of the federal government in promoting and protecting textile industry. He was holding a joint press conference along with Group Leader APTMA Gohar Ejaz at the APTMA Punjab office on Tuesday.
He said delay in announcement of textile policy 2014-19 further suggests that the present government is not different from the previous one, which had allocated Rs180 billion in Textile Policy 2009-14 whereas the disbursed only Rs28 billion which is 15% lower of the allocation' he added.
He said both India and Bangladesh announced their Textile Policies and registered 2008-2013 a growth of 94% and 160% respectively in exports against merely 22% of Pakistan during 2009-14. The World textile exports also grew by 45% on an average during the same period, he said.
While dubbing the federal textile ministry as "toothless" and "failed" ministry, he said an undue delay in announcement of textile policy 2014-19 has already left Pakistan far behind against the region counterparts, he added.
He said today 30% of the industry capacity is non-operational, exports are stagnant and no new investment has taken place since 2006. He lamented that the government had no focus on the growth of textile industry and the textile policy, therefore, has been delayed by almost last eight months.
According to him, the proposed textile policy for 2014-19 speaks about allocation of Rs60 billion, which is a drop in the ocean and government should enhance it to Rs200 billion at least.
He said the goals set in the proposed textile policy 2014-19, double textile exports, $1 billion investment per annum, employment creation, raw material availability of both cotton and man-made fiber are not possible to meet with such a meagre allocation. Already, he said, the textile industry is facing constraints including energy availability and affordability, high financial costs, raw material shortages, industrial structural imbalances and stagnant textile industry investment, policy and implementation divide, country perception and limited market access, high cost of doing business and pending refunds of textile industry swelled to Rs20 billion each under sales tax and income tax.
While putting forward proposals for much-awaited textile policy 2014-19, Chairman APTMA has sought guaranteed uninterrupted electricity and gas supply, Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) for BMR and greenfield projects, cotton production target of 20 million bales, MMF availability on competitive price, new investment, incentives on domestic consumption of textiles and clothing and immediate liquidation of pending refunds of textile industry.
Speaking on the occasion, Group Leader APTMA said the overloaded subsidies for Textile industry in India has made Pakistan's textile industry uncompetitive. Pakistan's flagship textile industry is facing the fate of national hockey team due to inattentive attitude of the government.