A huge drop in Pakistan's textile exports has drawn a strong criticism of the government by industrialists who accused it of being indifferent, according to media reports. Pakistan suffered a 16.9 per cent fall in the overall exports and 12 per cent in textiles alone, Javed Bilwani , Chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum said, citing the official statistics and terming the country's economic situation 'alarming'.
He said the country's textiles failed to show a growth with all its categories going down on the world trade index. Bed-wear export declined by 21 per cent, towel by 9.01 per cent, knitwear by 8.20 per cent and readymade by 6.14 per cent during July 2015 comparing with exports in June 2015.
The bleak exports figures clearly indicate that the country's value-added textiles are falling to an alarming level, Bilwani said. He slammed the Nawaz Sharif government for showing no signs to address the serious exports matter and unveil plans to salvage the national economy. Surprisingly, he said, exports of raw cotton shot up by 68 per cent and cotton combed or carded by 100 per cent. "It is a fact that globally exports of raw materials are discouraged and value addition is given all facilities and incentives."
Bilwani who is also Chief Co-ordinator, Value Added Textile Forum criticised the government for preferring exports of raw textile materials over apparels. "Our government prefers and has chosen to export the country's precious and most essential raw material - raw cotton and also combed and carded cotton abroad when these raw materials are sorely needed by the vital value added textile sector," he said.
He feared that exports figures would worsen in coming months as the sales tax rate had been increased by 50 per cent in the budget 2015-16, which blocked exporters' huge amount of liquidity.
"A large number of countries have devalued their currencies against the dollar and globally the race of devaluation has started. India devalued by 7.06 per cent, China by 5.61 per cent, Vietnam by 6.44 per cent, Sri Lanka by 2.62 per cent, Turkey by 36 per cent and Bangladesh by 0.15 per cent while Pakistan appreciated by 3.18 per cent," he said.
He said that the industry had continued to warn the government about the situation and urged the most pragmatic and constructive policies to scale up to double the country's exports of value added textile sector. The government burdened and endangered the apparel sector through its inconvenient policies, he added.
"This is because of the fact that the value added textile sector is burdened with multiple taxes with high cost of inputs - tariffs of gas, electricity, water, raw material, etc, and is further harassed due to short supply of all these most essential utilities," he added.
Bilwani appealed to the government to make a policy for reduction of all input costs to stop export-oriented industries from closing down which would render millions of workers. "The government should grant a separate status, special tariff and top priority to the textile export oriented industries in the supply of gas and power also because they are the largest earners of foreign exchange and generate the largest employment," he said. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India