LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has decided to keep all the mills shut next week in protest, as the government is not providing the incentives that were promised to the industrialists.
Aptma Chairman Aamir Fiaz expressed his views in a press conference and said the trade deficit has reached the highest level in country’s history due to poor policies of the government and continuous increase in production costs. Gohar Ejaz, Aptma Vice Chairman Ali Pervez and Aptma Punjab Chairman Syed Ali Ahsan were also present along with him.
The Aptma chairman said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is not fulfilling the promises that were made with the industrialists. He said the volume of export was more than $25 billion in 2013 when the incumbent government took charge, but now it has reduced to less than $20 billion.
Fiaz said that PM Nawaz had promised to pay funds worth Rs180 billion, but Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has allocated only Rs4 billion in the budget for fiscal year 2017-18. He said the industrialists are being asked to increase the exports without giving them the incentives.
He further added that it was made clear in the previous year that the trade deficit would cross $30 billion, but the government did nothing expect taking loans that the nation will pay with interest. He said progress cannot be made without increasing exports, and exports cannot be increased just by announcements.
The Aptma chairman demanded that the government should act upon the policy that it had announced. He said Rs200 billion of export industry have been held by the government, and industry will not run until they are paid. He said Dar, like every year, promised to pay the funds, but did not do it. After the press conference, a protest was raised outside the Aptma House, and slogans were raised to get the demands fulfilled by setting fabric and thread on fire.