Full support to textile industry for energy supplies: Afridi

* Fixes export target of additional $2bn in coming year

LAHORE: Ministry of Textile Industry would never like that 15 percent export growth achieved by the textile sector in February 2014 to fall.
Federal Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Shah Afridi addressing All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA)’s members said the government would not let the textile industry to shut on account of energy constraints. The government has fixed the goal of exports by $2 billion in the coming year. 
He said his Ministry would ensure provision of needed gas and electricity to the industry on priority basis, for which a summary has already been moved for consideration of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC).
He appreciated APTMA’s role in institutionalising the textile industry and for creating necessary linkages and for providing a platform for coordination between the government and the industry.
APTMA is appreciatable for its support for textile education and the Better Cotton Initiative of the government. Our industry need to work very hard and gear-up to compete with the world in general and comparative economies in particular, he added.
The government would be forthcoming and would support the textile industry as a main stay of industrial activities in country.
He said no textile unit would be allowed to shut on account of energy constraints and nor would the 15 percent increase in exports during February 2014 would be allowed to fall.
He said his purpose visiting APTMA office was to get first hand know how of the issues confronting textile industry and to comprehend and then support initiatives to achieve the full potential of the industry.
He said this would be a part of a regular strategy where both Ministry and the industry be meeting in order to achieve the common goal of improving the economy of the country.
Yasin Siddik chief of APTMA highlighted the various difficulties and constraints being faced by the industry. Recommendations were also made for the sustenance of the industry which included implementation of Textile Policy 2009-14 initiatives, liquidation of sales tax and duty draw back claims, sustainability of textile industry by reducing cost of doing business, increase in cotton production by vertical and horizontal growth, removal of duties on import of man-made-fibre (MMF), interest rates at regionally competitive level, priority in energy supplies at regionally competitive rates, and formulation of the new Textile Policy with incentives and schemes for the textile industries to compete and grow in international market.
Group leader APTMA Gohar Ejaz dilated upon the other dynamics of the textile industry and explained the APTMA vision for the coming years. SM Tanver informed the meeting about the precarious position of Punjab based textile units and the difficulties and un-competitiveness being faced due to non-availability of gas and long hours of electricity load shedding. He hoped the Ministry of Textile Industry would further improve upon its effectiveness under his leadership.

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