APTMA seeks timely implementation of long-term textile policy

‘Pakistan has an export potential of $50bn provided the local industry is facilitated with regionally competitive energy tariffs and business-friendly environment’

LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) group leader Gohar Ejaz has said that timely implementation of the long-term textile policy would not only bring new investments in the country but would also enable the industry achieve the target of $30 billion exports in the next five years.

He was addressing the 64th Annual General Meeting of APTMA-Northern Zone (Punjab) on Wednesday.

Ejaz said ad-hoc policies would not prove beneficial for the country’s exports and that “time has come to implement the long-term textile policy in letter and spirit”.

According to him, Pakistan has an export potential of $50 billion provided the local industry is facilitated with regionally competitive energy tariffs and business-friendly environment.

The group leader congratulated the new leadership of [central] APTMA, including Adil Bashir (chairman), Zahid Mazhar (senior vice chairman) and Hamid Zaman (vice chairman). He also appreciated the outgoing management, both in centre and zones, for their dedication and hard work in resolving textile-related problems.

He said the textile industry has pinned high hopes on new APTMA central chairman Adil Bashir, who was for the last two years serving the industry as APTMA-Punjab chairman.

In his keynote address, Adil Bashir urged the new leadership of APTMA-Punjab to focus on the removal of upfront incidentals on the import of raw materials. He also pushed the Punjab leadership to work on long-term specialized energy tariffs for industry.

He further asked the new team to the ensure allowance of long-term financing facility for indirect exports and building of infrastructure for garment plants; extension of duty drawback scheme for 5 years to exports using indigenously produced materials; and restoration of previous duty drawbacks scheme for gradual increase in drawbacks for garments and made ups.

According to Bashir, there is also a need to establish integrated textile & apparel parks equipped with all facilities for local and foreign investors and maintaining a market-driven exchange rate policy.

He said he had successfully managed to resolve the issues like continuation of special gas tariff package at $6.5/mmBTU for industry till June 2021 during his tenure as APTMA-Punjab chairman, adding that his team also ensured continuation of the electricity package at US cents 7.5/kWh for five export-oriented sectors till June 2020.

“A further extension of the special electricity package of 7.5c/kWh for July-Aug 2020 and at 9c/kWh for September 2020 to June 2021, respectively, will also be in place soon.”

He said APTMA had fought resiliently for the rights of industry at every forum and finally managed to secure the package.

Bashir informed he had also ensured 24/7 electricity supply for industry on independent & grouped feeders and gas supply to industry throughout the year. According to him, tax related matters were also addressed successfully during his tenure.

He said the member mills of APTMA remained closed for more than one month during Covid-19 lockdown. The APTMA management made concerted efforts for the earliest re-opening of mills and recommencement of manufacturing operations, he maintained.

In this regard, he said, several meetings were held with the concerned authorities at provincial and federal levels. In consequence of these efforts, Bashir said, the government allowed re-opening of all member mills in the shortest possible time subject to complying with the prescribed SOPs and without seeking repeated approvals from the district authorities.

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