The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Group Leader Gohar Ejaz has sought a five-year textile policy to double the textile exports to $26 billion and create three million new jobs in the country.
He was talking to media on the visit of the Advisor to Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan at the APTMA Punjab office on Wednesday.
He appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan for appointing a former Chairman APTMA Ahsan Bashir as Chairman Task Force on Textile and expressed the hope that the task force would ensure consistency in the government policies towards business.
As a result of the progressive policies and personal interest of the Prime Minister, especially by providing regionally competitive energy tariffs the textile industry has become viable after remaining in the red for 10 long years, he added.
He said the textile industry has achieved a record increase of 26 percent growth in quantitative terms although this did not directly reflect in the dollar amounts due to a substantial worldwide decrease in textile prices. However if this 26 percent increase in quantity had not been achieved the exports would have been less than $ 8.5 billion, the international prices have now recovered, he added.
As per records, profits of the companies were over 5 percent. The companies have posted a turnover of $ 16 billion out of which $ 13.3 billion was exported and $ 2.8 billion were sold in the domestic market. Industry has contributed to the exchequer through income tax of Rs. 40 billion as well as various other indirect taxes and levies of over Rs. 35 billion. The importance of the industry can be assessed from the fact that it also employs over 10 million workers with many more dependents.
He said the industry was thankful to the prime minister for having taken personal ownership and stewardship of the industry and chaired over a dozen meetings with the industry during this last year to resolve their issues.
According to him, an increase in cotton production was a need of the hour for consumption of the installed capacity of the textile industry.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Task Force on Textile Industry Ahsan Bashir thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for appointing him as Chairman of the task force.
He said the task force has started working on a new textile policy to increase its exports to $25 billion by 2024.
He expressed the hope that a comprehensive textile policy would be finalized by December 2019.
He said the share of Pakistan in the $450 billion world garments exports is 1.5 percent that needed to be increased through investment in the garment sector. He said the exports can never touch the magical figure of $50 billion unless Pakistan promotes and develops its small and medium (SME) sector.
He said the task force would focus on facilities and incentives to attract investors to this sector.
He said APTMA has been a proponent of documentation of the economy, as running a business without documentation would be difficult in the future.
He said the task force would also work on the development of genetically modified cotton seed in collaboration with the government.