Gohar Ejaz Group clean sweeps Aptma elections
LAHORE: Gohar Ejaz-led group has swept the elections of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) for the year 2021/22.
According to the election results announced by Mohammad Raza Baqir, secretary general Aptma, Abdul Rahim Nasir has been elected as the chairman of Aptma for the year 2021/22, while Jamil Qassim and Atta Shafi Tanvir Sheikh were elected as senior vice chairman and vice chairman, respectively.
By sweeping all the seats in the Central and Zonal elections of Aptma, the Gohar Ejaz Group has registered its 12th consecutive victory, which is unprecedented in the history of the association or any other trade organisation in the country.
Addressing the press conference, Nasir thanked the Central Executive Committee and group leader Gohar Ejaz for reposing their confidence on him and assured that the new leadership would keep serving the industry under the leadership of Gohar Ejaz.
He said he would keep interacting with the government for continuation of the regionally competitive energy tariff of electricity at 9 cents/kWh and gas at $6.5MMBTU during the fiscal year 2021/22 and onwards.
Nasir expressed confidence that with the incessant availability of energy and raw materials at regionally competitive rates, the industry would put its best to achieve the lofty target of exports for the current year.
The textile industry was fully conscious of its social responsibility, which is evident from the fact that the textile industry was the only sector of the economy where no retrenchment had taken place, despite successive waves of the Covid-19.
Acknowledging the role of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his economic team in the revival of the whole industry, in general, and textile sector, in particular, Nasir urged the government to accelerate its pace in removing the remaining irritants in doing business for uplifting the economic activity in the country.
He expressed confidence that the textile industry would never disappoint the government in terms of earning foreign exchange, creating jobs and attracting new investment for a prosperous Pakistan.
Talking about the export performance, Nasir said that the textile exports have registered an impressive growth during the outgoing fiscal year of 2020/21 by earning $15.4 billion for the country, which is 23 per cent higher than the previous year’s textile exports of $12.5 billion. He said around 70 per cent of the textile exports from Pakistan were from the value-added sector, which is a healthy sign for the country.
Nasir said that even during the current year, the textile exports have witnessed a remarkable growth, as it registered around 29 per cent increase in the first two months of July and August, compared with the corresponding period of the preceding year.
August 2021 has recorded exports of $1.5 billion, which are 45 per cent higher than the exports of $1 billion in August 2020.
An early announcement of the new five-year textile policy would facilitate the industry in its expansion plans and doubling the exports, he said, adding that the industry would witness new investment in the downstream sectors worth $3 billion to add another $6 billion exports and three million jobs once the new textile policy is in place.
Nasir also expressed the hope that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would keep supporting the industry, by and large, and keep releasing its refunds without a break during the current fiscal year, as well.
He appreciated the facilitating role of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in terms of financial support and expressed the hope that the central bank will continue to strengthen the industry by adopting a proactive approach.
Newly-elected Aptma Northern Zone chairman Hamid Zaman congratulated the central leadership of the association on assuming their offices, saying that the Northern Zone would extend all-out support to the central leadership to resolve the issues of the industry.
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