Apparel sector welcomes govt decision to reopen industry

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The Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association has welcomed the government decision of reopening the industry, exempting it from lockdown with a view to provide financial relief, especially to the workers, amid prevailing coronavirus crisis.
PHMA vice chairman Shafiq Butt has observed that the whole value-added textile industry appreciate the govt for giving exemption several industries, including the apparel industry, from the lockdown, allowing it to work after adopting precautionary measures.
He also hailed the government for lifting ban on goods transport for maintaining uninterrupted supply of goods whereas permissions for wheat reaping and allied industries were part of government’s efforts to save the country from impending economic challenges. Shafiq Butt said that the opening of industry is aimed at providing jobs to unemployed labour in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said that no world economy had any idea that COVID-19 would be this devastating, adding that even developed economies of the world had failed to foresee the coronavirus challenge.
In the statement, Shafiq Butt also welcomed the government decision of releasing sales tax refunds of Rs 100 billion to the industry under the government’s Rs1,240 billion package announced by the prime minister, saying the move will address the liquidity challenges faced by the exporters if it is implemented fully.
Shafiq Butt observed that that improved cash flow position of the hosiery exporters would ensure that workers get their salaries on time.
PHMA vice chairman noted that it is the time to take unprecedented steps to support business and employment in this difficult situation, releasing tax refunds to the industry at a fast speed, as Pakistan’s export are expected to decline up to $4 billion due to spread of Covid-19 across the world. He said that during early weeks of March 2020 exports were showing 13 percent growth but as Coronavirus spread throughout the world including Pakistan, exports started showing declining trend and in the end negative growth was over 8 percent.
On this occasion, PRGMEA (NZ) Chairman Sohail A. Sheikh also appreciated the government for reopening of industries in phases so that the food-supply chain as well as other commodities was not affected in the country.
The both leadership of the apparel sector ensured the government that the industrial sector has chalked out the SoPs regarding health and hygiene of workers, ensuring the government to implement it fully at the industry premises.

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