Sustainable economic growth a major challenge: Dawood

Web DeskWeb Editor

10th Jul, 2021. 07:27 pm
Sustainable economic growth a major challenge

FAISALABAD: Sustainable economic growth is a major challenge for the government after stabilising and improving the economic indicators, a senior government official said on Saturday.

Addressing the business community at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries, Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said, in this regard, a series of meetings had been proposed with the stakeholders immediately after Eid.

One meeting would be held with Prime Minister Imran Khan so that the exporters could interact directly with him and highlight their core issues, he added.

The adviser said: “Our economy was moving in the right direction and [the] industry was making phenomenal growth. The PTI government, during the last three years, had attained the growth targets and now [the] challenge was to ensure sustainability of economic growth,” he added.

Dispelling an impression that the exporters were continuously demanding more, he said, the market condition was changing and, accordingly, new challenges were cropping up and “we have to handle those with wisdom and prudence in the fast changing business environment”.

Pakistan has witnessed a jump in exports to $31 billion last year and, in this connection, the lion’s share was contributed by the textile sector, he said, and pointed out towards the tariff rationalisation measures, saying that duty had been reduced to zero level on various textile raw materials, including raw cotton, nylon, acrylic, viscos, wool, flock and hemp.

The measure had enabled exporters to explore new markets, while his concern was that the tariff rationalisation must continue in the coming years.

He said 40 per cent of the raw materials was being imported and the duty on it had already been reduced to zero. In this connection, he specifically mentioned engineering, pharmaceutical and footwear sectors for which all the duties had been withdrawn.

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The adviser said he had talked to Prime Minister Imran Khan and they had detailed meetings with Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on that issue.

About inflation, he said no doubt it was a major issue for an elected government. The prime minister would hold two meetings in this regard. In the first meeting, they would decide the export targets for the next financial year, he said, adding that two years ago, the textile exports were $13 billion, while last year the sector earned $15.5 billion.

Another meeting would also be held with Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin to resolve the issue of availability of yarn, Dawood said, adding that a policy had been finalised for the payment of DLTL (Duty Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies). It was intentionally ignored in the current budget and they would finalise it after having a meeting with the finance minister, he added.

Dawood urged the garment exporters to focus on manufacturing of shirts, suits and women garments, adding that the government would be more than helpful to facilitate and support them. “By exploiting the sector, we could take our exports to $200 billion within the next couple of years,” he added.

Regarding mobile phones manufacturing in the country, the adviser said the country would start its export from next year. He said he was scheduled to visit Uzbekistan and urged the exporters to exploit the $90 billion potential in the Central Asian markets.

Earlier, FCCI president Engineer Ihtisham Javed welcomed the guest and said: “We could enhance our exports to $25 billion last year as the government had withdrawn duties on 1,600 additional tariff lines.”

Despite coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan attained a growth of 3.9 per cent, he added.

Later, FCCI vice president Ayub Aslam offered a vote of thanks, while president Javed, along with former president, presented the FCCI shield to the adviser.

Meanwhile, Dawood also addressed a meeting of the All Pakistan Bed-sheets and Upholstery Manufacturers Association.

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