Government should take concrete relief measures in budget for revival of Textile Industry – Mian Shaukat Masud

  • June 12, 2009
Government should take concrete relief measures in budget 2009-10 for quick revival of textile industry, which was the backbone of country’s exports, but was in deep straits. This was demanded by Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) in a statement. He said textile industry contributed 8.5% to GDP, added about 46% to the output, employed 38% of the workforce in the manufacturing sector & was responsible for more than 60% of total exports. But high interest rates, high inputs cost, non-conducive government policies, non-guaranteed energy supplies, deteriorating law & order situation, lack of R&D support etc. were the main factors that added to the problems of textile industry badly damaging its competitiveness, Therefore, he called upon the government to address these problems on priority to remove the woes of textile sector. He said all sectors of the economy, except for agriculture, were on the decline as proved by the recent economic survey while revival of textile industry could contribute significantly in arresting the downward slide of the economy.

Mian Shaukat Masud said that if urgent relief measures were not taken in budget 09-10, textile sector could face heavy defaults. He said just in Southern Punjab, 30 out of a total of 50 textile mills had already closed down rendering almost 100,000 workers jobless who were directly or indirectly connected with these operations. Moreover, textile sector had witnessed a decline of 7.6 percent in its export performance with cotton yarn’s export performance declining by 15.5 per cent, bed wear declining by 11.7 per cent and ready made garments by 13.1 per cent. The spinning sector had faced huge loss of Rs 783 million during first half of the current fiscal year owing to soaring cotton prices, which was the key cost component of spinning industry. Consequently, sizeable textile capacity had been severely impaired as textile industry was running only on 20% of its total capacity.

ICCI President said single digit mark up rate, availability of consistent energy, improving tax structure and compensation on incidentals were the steps which could help reviving the textile sector. Moreover, government should exempt all textile machinery, raw materials, spares and chemicals from one percent withholding tax at import stage along with reducing 4.5 percent customs duty on Polyester Staple Fibre on the import stage, he stressed. He said the corporate tax should be reduced to 25 percent to attract foreign investment in the sector. Furthermore, duty levied on other man made fibres like Viscose, Acrylic Fibres etc should also be withdrawn in next budget.