FAISALABAD- Short and long term remedial strategies would be evolved to save the textile sector and in this connection all stakeholders should submit concrete proposals within a week, State Minister for Commerce and Textile Haji Mohammad Akram Ansari said on Saturday.
Addressing a function in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he said that a few years ago the textile sector was facing problems like high mark up, load shedding and shortage of gas etc. Now most of these issues have been resolved and now new types of problems have surfaced, including high cost of doing business and delay in payment of refund claims etc.
He said that being a elected member of the National Assembly, he had been advocating tor the textile sector but now the responsibility to redress their genuine grievances have directly been entrusted to him and he sincerely intends to settle their issues as soon as possible. He requested President FCCI Engineer Mohammad Saeed Sheikh to form a committee of all stakeholders to give short and long term proposals enabling him to put these before Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi for their immediate and final redressal.
Continuing, Haji Mohammad Akram Ansari said that in this region, Bangladesh, China and India are far ahead of us in textile exports. He said that being a major cotton producing country, we must review our strategy that why our textile exports are declining. “We must switch over towards value addition by making conscious efforts to reduce cost of production”, he said and added that it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to fulfill their duties to achieve this objective. He said that government will also try its optimum best to give them maximum facilitation and relief. He assured that he will also discuss the issue of the electricity and gas supply at reduced rates to the textile sector. “I am already conversant with the issues of textile sector”, he said and added that even then, he has noted the issues pointed out by the President FCCI and will try redress that the same at the ministry level.
Regarding refund of sales tax, customs and income tax etc, he said that there is no second opinion that this is the right of the exporters and they must get it as soon as possible. He said that cabinet meeting is scheduled to be held on Tuesday in which he will try to talk to Prime Minister regarding Rs. 180 billion Textile Package and issuance of notification for the release of remaining Rs. 120 billion for the period from July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018. He said that he will also request him to provide this relief without any condition of 10 percent increase in existing export of the claimants.
He said that most of the issues of textile exporters are linked with ministry of finance and FBR and he will talk to finance minster Mr. Ishaq Dar. He assured that his ministry will also extend maximum facilitation to the textile sector. Responding to the appointment of commercial consular from private sector, he said that not only commercial consular but our ambassadors should also work for the promotion of Pakistani exports in their concerned country.
He also assured to take up the issue of difference in gas prices for Punjab and Sindh with the concerned ministries. He said that he belongs to this city and hence he is duty bound to resolve the issues faced by local business community.” I shall regularly visit FCCI after every fortnight so that their issues could be resolved immediately”, he said and added that if needed he will also request Federal Minister Mr. Pervaiz Malik to visit FCCI for direct interaction with its members. Similarly, the secretary commerce and secretary textile could also be directed to visit FCCI if needed.