LAHORE: Expressing serious concern over continued decline in textile exports owing to deteriorated power crisis, the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has sought the level playing field for value-added textile industry of Punjab, as industries in other provinces are enjoying smooth gas and power supplies, rendering the Punjab industry uncompetitive within the country.
PRGMEA central chairman Ijaz Khokhar observed that the country has exported textile made goods worth of $4.6 billion during July-October 2014-2015 against $4.7 billion of the same period of the previous year, showing drop of 1.54 percent.
“Punjab industry is trying to cope with growing cost of production because of gas shortages, high electricity tariff and stuck-up sales tax refunds,” he said
“The government should provide level-playing field by raising gas and power supply to the industry to help exporters cut their energy costs and release billions of rupees stuck in sales tax refunds,” he said.
He said that due to gas shortage, mills cannot process our fabric in time and the sewing units simply cannot guarantee on time deliveries of export shipments. With this productivity level we cannot compete with Bangladesh let alone India or China.”
Ijaz Khokhar said that government was enhancing country’s exports by $1 billion annually following getting GSP plus status. However, things moved in opposite direction, as exports plunged in last several months mainly due to the ongoing energy shortage. The country’s overall exports have shrunk by 6.86 percent in July-October to $7.98 billion from $8.56 billion of the corresponding period last year.
PRGMEA North Zone Senior Vice-Chairman Malik Naseer, observed that the government seems unable to address the business community problems in short-run, as it could not provide gas to the textile units due to scarcity of gas in the country.
According to him, continuously declining law and order situation in the country, followed by lingering energy shortages which has virtually crippled the industry, are the prime reasons for textile exports decline. Besides, negative perceptions about Pakistan and high financial costs are adding fuel to the fire.
“Because of the deteriorating law & order situation and the shortage of electricity & gas, factories are unable to in-time deliver whatever limited orders they managed to procure from their foreign buyers.”
Malik Naseer said that the business community was unable to understand that instead of taking measures to control line losses and enhance cheap power generation up to capacity, the policies are being evolved to add to the miseries of the business doing people.
He said that the industry needs cheaper electricity to keep the units operational and to complete the export orders well within the given timeframe but only because of the shortage of electricity the exports are not up to the mark.
PRGMEA’s senior vice chairman urged the government to control line losses, electricity theft, and inefficiency in recovery of dues and help stop political interference in the energy sector that has reduced the country’s economic growth.
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