Govt deliberating to revive industries: textile minister

* FCCI seeks waiver of ‘non-performing loans’ clause by the SBP

FAISALABAD: The Textile Ministry is already deliberating on the revival of the sick industries, as it will play a major role in enhancing textile exports and harvesting the benefits of the GSP Plus status, Federal Minister for Textile and Industry Abbas Khan Afridi said on Sunday. 
He was talking to a delegation of textile exporters headed by Engr Suhail Bin Rashid, the president of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), who briefed him on the importance of revival of sick industries in Faisalabad.
The minister said that the government was fully aware of the importance of value added sector, as it was not only a major foreign exchange earning sector but also providing huge number of jobs for the unemployed youth. 
He asked the FCCI to finalise their study on sick units with viable two or three options so that the government and related ministries could approve the most appropriate option. 
He assured that he would arrange a meeting of textile exporters with the finance minister to specifically discuss and resolve the NPL (non-performing loans) clause that was a main hindrance in getting required finance from the banks. 
The FCCI president said that they had conducted a preliminary study on some of the sick units located in Faisalabad, as most of the businessmen were not ready to disclose their financial position despite being in trouble. 
He said that the revival of only local textile units in Faisalabad could help fetch $1 billion foreign exchange in addition to creating about 82,000 jobs. 
He said that these units have spent billions of rupees on their infrastructure and machinery and are in a position to start operation as soon as the running finance is made available. 
He said that a major bottleneck was the prudential regulations of SBP, as the banks are not giving loans to these units because of non-performing loans (NPL) Clause. 
He said that the issue should be taken up with Finance Minister for temporarily suspension of this clause so that these units could get loans from the banks and restart their units. 
President FCCI clarified that these units are known for their professional integrity and they are only victims of circumstances as energy crisis coupled with recession in Europe played a major role in making them sick. 
He said that these sick units had record history of serving Pakistan for years but now they are in crisis and the government must come forward for their rescue.
Earlier the delegation also had a detailed discussion with Federal Textile Secretary Rukhsana Shah, and also informed her about the problems of these sick units. 
She was fully convinced and said that her ministry was already working on this issue as the revival of sick industries is in the best national interest. 

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