Karachi: The upcoming Trade Policy for three years must have rescue measures for the readymade garments industry which is the biggest foreign exchange earner in the country, said Chairman Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association PRGMEA, Sajid Saleem Minhas in an appeal to the federal Minister of Commerce, Amin Faheem.
“The upcoming Trade Policy must have a strategy that enhances exports of readymade garments despite all odds as basic irritants of the exporters should be removed”, Minhas said adding that garments industry is predominantly made up of SME’s that are suited to make high fashion products since the order sizes are small but due to policies of import that are cumbersome and very expensive they are not able to fulfill their potential and their counterparts in Bangladesh are easily able to compete with them, Minhas said adding that weaving industry is weak on higher counts of fashion fabrics and hence it is essential to import fabrics to make the garments for reexport. Importing fabric for reexport is open to all and is easy to apply in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who are our main competitors in the region.
PRGMEA’s chief has further called for scrapping the DTRE duty and tax remission for export that allows this type of fabric import for reexport. This scheme has totally failed and despite repeated requests by associations to make it easy and less irritant. But so far the response has been very discouraging. He proposed that garment units should be allowed to import fabric under the SRO # 492 scheme.
Since post dated cheques and an indemnity bond is given at the time of clearance there should be no issue to collect duties if the garment unit is not able to export the fabric for one reason or another. At this juncture when the industry is struggling on so many fronts, this could give some relief, he added.