Pakistan's Ministry of Textile Industry has urged the Commerce Ministry to ensure a level playing field with India while normalizing trade relations with that country.
The Textile Ministry also suggested signing of a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with India, so as to make exports grow, in its submission to the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, which was followed by a meeting of textile industry stakeholders with Textile Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin.
Trade normalisation with India, textile policy, Textile Up-gradation Fund (TUF) scheme and European Union (EU) package were among the issues discussed at the meeting.
Textile entrepreneurs proposed that Pakistan should try to gain parity with the duty rates prevailing in India. Expressing reservation over trade normalization they said the Commerce Ministry should try to earn a cut in duty imposition on Pakistani goods in India. Else, duty on Indian goods in Pakistan should be raised to ensure that the Pakistani sector gets an equal level playing field with India.
The textile industry paid interest on loans for 365 days, power and gas crisis allowed it to operate for only 180 days, and hence the industry should be allowed concession on non-performing loans, the Textile Ministry officials claimed.
Encouraging production rather than trading, the officials demanded a cut in the rate of export financing scheme and duty drawback, to make them at par with India.
The summary also sought prioritization of the textile industry for gas provision under the gas load management program.
Textile Ministry officials informed the meeting that the summary called for equal provision of gas for textile industry as was being provided to the fertilizer sector.
They also informed the meeting that in March their Ministry had urged the Commerce Ministry to ensure optimum utilization of the EU package.
However, the textile stakeholders voiced concerns over the delay in execution of the EU package, and said that any further delay in implementation of the package is likely to deprive the country of several benefits.
The Textile Ministry informed the meeting that the Government has so far released Pk Rs. 3.5 billion to fund various initiatives and schemes under the Textile Policy 2009-14.
Secretary of the Ministry of Textile Industry Shahid Rasheed, Pakistan Readymade Garment and Manufacturing Association Chairman Saleem Shehzad and All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Chairman Mohsin Aziz were present at the meeting.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India