Karachi, December 5, 2018: Pakistan’s present economic situation is miserable and the only answer to come out of the massive fiscal and current account deficits, rising trade deficit gap, unprecedented depreciation of Pak Rupee, highest discount rate in the region and increase trend in inflation is only and only increase in exports.
Zahid Mazhar, Chairman APTMA Sindh-Balochistan Region said that the only answer to the depressed economic situation is increase in exports and only the textile industry is capable enough to double its exports in the next five years. For achieving this issue to meet the threat of increased competition in the global textile market must be addressed without any further delay.
He said that the first hundred days of the PTI Government led by Imran Khan has already been lapsed and mostly consumed is assessing the terrible economic situation the country is in. The government is yet to adopt measures to reverse the trend. The drastic situation requires drastic measures. APTMA is of the view that if the corrective measures are not taken immediately i.e. in the next 30 days the economic situation of the country will become from bad to worst.
While highlighting the issues hurting the viability of textile industry of Pakistan to compete with its regional competitors he said that the some of the major issues are high cost of doing business, inordinate delay in payment of refunds of sales tax, income tax and duty drawback to exporters, highest policy rate in the region, shortage of basic raw material i.e. cotton for meeting consumption requirement of the industry at competitive prices.
He urged the government to give immediate attention to the cotton crop which has witnessed a massive decline over the last few years. He reminded that four years ago Pakistan had achieved the highest cotton crop of 14.87 Million bales of cotton which has now fallen to 10.8 million bales as against the actual potential of 17.5 million bales annually.
He also requested the government to review Free Trade Agreements and Preferential Trade Agreements in such a way that the exports of Pakistani goods to those countries be increased. He demanded to give special attention towards FTA with China since China is providing zero customs duty facility on import of textiles from ASEAN member countries, while 3.5% duty is imposed on textiles from Pakistan. The FTA with Turkey also needs to be renegotiated to facilitate textile exports to Turkey.