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'Low funds render Pakistan's textile policy ineffective'
08
Apr '14
The Pakistani Government’s inability to fulfill the commitment of releasing Pk Rs. 188 billion for the implementation of the Textiles Policy 2009-2014, has rendered the policy ineffective, said Textiles Secretary Rukhsana Shah during the meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Textile Industry held recently.

The standing committee revealed during the meeting that the Government has released only Rs. 26.75 billion for the Textiles Policy 2009-2014, as against the commitment of Rs. 188 billion, reports the Business Recorder.

Ms. Shah told the committee that the slow release of funds was creating a hindrance in achieving the desired results of reaching the export target of US$ 25 billion by 2014.

Pakistan has a dynamic and export-oriented textile industry that highly impacts the country’s economy, by contributing 55 percent share in export earnings, creating 39 percent of employment and accounting for 8.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), she added.

At the meeting, Minister of Textile Industry Abbas Shah Afridi said Pakistan is way behind countries such as China, Bangladesh and India who have made tremendous developments in the textile sector.

Despite attaining the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status from the European Union (EU), no sincere efforts have been made to diversify textile products and no initiatives were taken up to explore potential markets for local products, he added.

Minister Afridi also informed that non-availability of gas and power further deteriorated the situation and despite having potential, Pakistan has been unable to reach the export target.

The Textiles Policy of 2009-2014 aims at taking the country's textile exports from the existing $10-13 billion to $25 billion by the year 2014, through providing subsidies and incentives as well as prioritized gas supply to the industry.

In the first eight months of the financial year 2013-14 that began on July 1, the exports of textiles and apparel from Pakistan increased by 8.28 percent year-on-year to $9.155 billion, according to the data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

During last fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2013, textile and clothing exports from Pakistan grew by 5.9 percent to $13.06 billion from $12.34 billion in 2011-12.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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