Pakistan's trade bodies term textile policy a ‘failure'
The Textile Policy
2014-2019 announced by Pakistan Government, in a bid to make the country’s textile industry competitive and sustainable, has failed to achieve its goals due to the lack of will and poor approach. Industry trade bodies in the country such as Pakistan Textile Exporters Association, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Towel Manufacturers Association, Pakistan Apparel Forum and others have voiced their concerns over the failure of the textile policy. The textile policy, when announced was aimed to fetch the investment of additional US $ 5 billion in machinery and technology in addition to increasing value addition from US $ 1 billion per million bales to US $ 2 billion per million bales during the policy period.
The policy was also aimed to increase textile exports from US $ 13.1 billion to US $ 26 billion. None of these goals has been met so far. Focus on small and medium enterprises sector was also listed in its priority plan. Apart from some proposals, any furtherance could not be achieved. Any appropriate decision to provide a rewarding result to textile sector stakeholders was not taken by the Economic Coordination Committee during the period, the bodies maintained. Around 45% of the industrial labour force is employed with the textile sector and it contributes more than 9% to Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the country. The industry consumes more than 42% banking credit. The failure would further put stress on the country’s economy. Despite the Rs. 180 billion support package announced by the Government, the policy lacked the execution. The power supply has been the major issue as well for factories to operate. It’s high time that the Government readies action plans to bolster textile trade.