Woes of textile industry

PAKISTAN textile industry contributes more than 60 percent to the
country’s total exports but unfortunately it is facing great decline in its growth because of multiple factors. The major reasons for the decline can be the global recession, internal security concerns, the high cost of production due to increase in the energy costs and levy of import duties on the raw material used in exports besides the issue of duty drawback.
No doubt, the present Government, which is considered to be business friendly, has been striving to support the industry and Prime Minister’s Incentive Package for exports was also announced besides ensuring uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas. Apart from this, the government allowed record depreciation in the value of rupee but there are no indications that this has anything to do with the resolution of the woes of exporters especially those of textile. They are worried as their clients are increasingly turning towards Bangladesh and Thailand because Pakistani products have become non-competitive due to constant rise in cost of production and doing business. A combination of measures is needed to help pick up textile exports and this demands that the Ministry and other stakeholders should sit together, pinpoint the real causes and recommend measures that could boost exports in realistic terms. Mere subsidies would also not work if the textile sector does not go for value addition, innovation, quality and marketing. The Government must ensure incentives and concessions that could bring down the cost of production but it is for the private sector to go for aggressive and proper marketing. The Government strived hard to get GSP Plus status from the European Union and efforts are on for its continuation but the fact remains that the private sector could not avail the opportunity properly. Industry sources claim that textile exports can increase by at least S 5 billion provided difficulties and challenges being faced by the sector are adequately addressed.

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