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APTMA's Punjab chief accuses India of 'economic war'
Oct '15
With Pakistan's textile industry in troubled waters, the Punjab unit of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has accused India of waging 'an economic war' by targeting the textile industry in Pakistan, according to newspaper reports in the country.

"The textile industry is the largest industrial base of Pakistan and India has targeted it," APTMA Punjab unit's new Chairman Aamir Fayyaz said in a press conference in Lahore. Among the audience was the outgoing central Chairman, SM Tanveer.

He also deplored the delay in announcement of promised textile package by the government. This, he alleged, has led to a transfer of Pakistani textile jobs to India which is dumping its textiles into Pakistan's unprotected textile market.

Fayyaz said, "India has imposed a 28 per cent import duty on yarn from Pakistan against five per cent here in Pakistan on the Indian yarn. As a result, we're closing down at the cost of Indian incentives for its textile industry. The Indian government has spent $66 billion investment on its textile industry under the Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme besides many other incentives."

He also said his association had clarified to government policymakers that Pakistan's textile industry could never compete with the Indian government.

“The high cost of doing business has led to the closure of some 15 textile mills so far. Thousands of workers have been laid off so far and this situation amounts to the murder of jobs. The association has engaged the government since August but no tangible relief has so been announced. We've met the federal finance minister in August followed by a detailed meeting with the Prime minister in September. The announcement of a textile package has already been too late and fears are piling up that it could also be too little," he said.

He claimed that the high cost of energy had jeopardised the textile industry. "We are getting electricity at 14 cents against 9 cent in India. The government has shifted system losses and non-recovery of bills to the textile industry, which is operating on the independent feeders."

Fayyaz urged the government to remove all such burdens on the textile industry and ensure availability of electricity and gas in winter. "Textile exports should also be freed from innovative taxes, having an accumulative impact of five percent."

He said exports are universally zero rated but in Pakistan the textile exports are subjected to different taxes and levies that have reached 5 per cent of the export value. These taxes, he claimed, were not being refunded. He said India, China and Bangladesh provide generous rebate on textile exports that cover all taxes, even those paid during manufacturing and transportation. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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