Miftah assures APTMA of full support to meet exports target

Governor SBP to visit APTMA office in order to address the textile industry’s all finance-related issues

LAHORE: Federal Finance and Revenue Minister Miftah Ismail Saturday assured the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) of the government’s full support in meeting the exports target for the current fiscal year.

He was speaking to the APTMA members during his visit to the APTMA House here. Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique, Governor and Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Asim Ahmed and Chief Collector Customs Rubab Sikandar also attended the meeting.

APTMA Patron in Chief Dr. Gohar Ejaz, Central Chairman Abdul Rahim Nasir, Chairman Northern Zone Hamid Zaman, and other office-bearers welcomed the federal ministers.

Miftah said the disparity in price of gas between different provinces would be reconsidered and hopefully the issue would be resolved shortly with approval of the cabinet. Miftah added, the government was exploring various options to ensure sustainable gas supply to the export industry in the coming winter and a number of measures had already been initiated to meet the requirement. He promised to find some suitable ways to meet the current gas demand of textile mills.

On the issue of liquidity crunch being faced by the industry and the problems being faced in getting clearance of imported consignments in the wake of restrictions imposed by SBP, he directed governor SBP to visit APTMA office next week in order to address the textile industry’s all finance-related issues.

Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said the country was passing through a difficult time when Pakistan Muslim League-N came into power. However, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his team worked hard to take the country out of the financial mess. He urged the APTMA leadership to come forward and help out the flood-affected people in this hour of need.

While speaking on this occasion, Dr. Gohar Ejaz said in order to achieve $50 billion exports in five years, adequate supply of energy at regionally competitive tariffs was a must. Also, availability of working capital to 500 new entrepreneurs, TERF like facility for Rs500 billion to facilitate investment and debt equity ratio of 80:20 to include building and infrastructure as 50% of cost of garment factories.

He said the textile sector was committed to set up 1,000 garment plants. To enable successful outcome of this scheme, he said, it was extremely important to train women to contribute to various stages of the value chain e.g. stitching, weaving etc, and to bring them into the workforce.

Chairman APTMA Rahim Nasir said all imports of the export oriented sectors should be allowed hindrance-free admission into Pakistan, as the impact of the delay in clearance of the last two to three months would be significant in case of further delay. He also sought restoration of the SRO 1125 i.e. zero rating for the entire textile value chain.

Chairman APTMA Punjab Hamid Zaman demanded priority of Gas/RLNG supply to the exporting sectors in Punjab, hosting more than 50% of the total installed capacity in Pakistan, and requires 200mmcfd gas/RLNG. The basis for gas allocation be changed to 50% of sanctioned load, he added.

The finance minister played a flood-related documentary for the APTMA members, which was followed by a compassionate appeal from him for more donations to take the flood-affected people out of misery.

Dr. Gohar Ejaz announced Rs100 million ration bags for the flood-stricken people on the occasion. Senior Vice Chairman APTMA Kamran Arshad presented a vote of thanks to both the ministers at the end of the meeting.

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