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Govt mulls import duty waiver for water jet looms

Mar '07
In a bid to boost polyester fabrics output, the Pakistan Government is actively considering import duty waiver for water jet looms.

Water jet looms manufacture quality manmade or polyester fibres at low costs than traditional shuttle looms that run on higher electricity costs and maintainence, with latter existing in large numbers currently in Pakistan.

With the country being a major cotton producer, ratio of cotton-polyester blended fabrics is 70:30.

Another notable fact is global markets comprise 60 percent of the women's wear while menswear dominate rest so there is huge market potential in this segment.

This is where water jet looms can play an important role in augmenting capacities while providing higher share in global markets for Pakistani manmade or polyester fabrics and garments.

Karachi and Gujranwala are the main centres where concentration of water jet looms exists, whereas in Faisalabad and Lahore, conventional or shuttle looms which are less productive and consume more electricity, are still in use.

On the economics of technology used, a water jet loom may cost anywhere between Rs1 million to Rs1.3 million while shuttle loom costs around Rs0.5 to Rs0.8 million.

But water or air jet looms have a clear edge despite high initial investments.

So, import duty on water jet looms which stand today at 15 percent besides 15 percent sales tax and 6 percent income tax, is obviously a costly preposition due to addon taxes.

Thus, it will not be out of place for the Government to act fast in this regards to boost the prospects of womens fashion garments sector in the international markets apart from fetching valued foreign currency.

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