FCCI official demands new textile policy

In a bid to make Pakistan the world leader in the textile sector, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) Senior Vice President Zafar Iqbal Sarwar has proposed the announcement of a new textile policy for 2019-24 by mainly focusing on value-added goods export.

Unfolding objectives of the textile policy, he said that special emphasis should be given to improving Pakistan’s global ranking in the ease of doing business and reducing the cost of doing business.

He proposed a one-window operation for the purposes of registration, incorporation, EOBI, social security, taxation, fee collection, etc. He demanded levy of uniform energy charges across the country in addition to the settlement of the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) issue and payables. Sarwar said that in order to stop the misuse of subsidized energy and the Duty and Tax Remission for Export (DTRE) scheme, the government must take appropriate steps in consultation with the real stakeholders.

He said that efforts must be expedited to increase cotton production by improving the product mix by concentrating on research and development activity. He urged the government to provide a subsidized credit facility, enhance audit limits, and give mark-up support and incentives so that textile exporters could invest in value addition of their innovative products.

The official said that steps should also be taken to facilitate additional capital investment and reduce the cost of doing business. In this connection, he proposed the constitution of dispute resolution committees consisting of representatives of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), trade bodies and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP).

Underlining the importance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), he said, “The government should also focus on strengthening this important sector, which is full of potential.”

Sarwar proposed the setting up of a textile research forum to enhance cotton yield by encouraging the cultivation of genetically modified seeds, production of organic cotton and establishing a production center in Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan-based testing facilities must be put in place in addition to encouraging internationally accredited labs with special focus on installing testing equipment for the identification of harmful substances.

He added that the government should encourage joint ventures and investment for the manufacturing of textile machinery and production of various inputs used by allied industries in Pakistan subject to the economic viability.

He stressed the need for introducing Pakistan's brand and establishing a business facilitation center for textile exporters so that they could explore new markets and introduce their own brands in international markets.

The FCCI senior vice president demanded that existing industrial zones should be improved by extending the facility of “plug and play”, especially to the SME sector, which was starved of finances. Similarly, vocational training should be improved and women entrepreneurs must be encouraged so that they could play their role through coordinated efforts with the relevant.


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