Federal Commerce Minister Pervaiz Malik on Wednesday assured that textile value chain was top most priority in federal budget 2018-19. Addressing an International Conference on Textiles and Clothing- Inspiring Change- at a local hotel, he said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would further contribute to Pakistan's economic upsurge that would expand exponentially as the Paki-China partnership extended beyond energy and transportation to other sectors and textile was atop, said a press release issued here.
Approximately Rs 50 billion has been released by the government for textile sector during current financial year and these steps have arrested the declining trend of exports and now textile exports during current financial year has increased by 7.17 percent compared to last year.
Various other facilitations were also under consideration for upcoming federal budget, he said and asserted that such measures would provide long term sustainability to the textile sector. Pervaiz Malik mentioned that in June 2013 Pakistan was on the brink of default on its financial commitments, its foreign exchange reserves were at an historic low covering only two week worth of imports, while large payments were falling what to say of the commercial banks even the multilateral development partners were shy of undertaking any new business with Pakistan.
However, he added, Pakistan’s economy had recorded a remarkable revival in the past five year as today Pakistan was at a high growth trajectory with economic growth at around six per cent per annum. Globally credible institutions like Price Water House Coopers, he quoted as saying, “Pakistan economy is set to be among the 20 largest economies (G20) of the world by 2030 and 15th largest economy by 2050”.
Federal Commerce Minister viewed that textile and clothing sector was a symbol of Pakistan’s manufacturing excellence and also the mainstay of its exports. “Where we stand today is due to huge comparative advantages in the form of cotton and an abundant labour force that provides a springboard for the industry. However, I must remind that it is mainly the entrepreneurial skills of our business leaders which harnessed these advantages to put Pakistan on the Textiles and Clothing map of the world”, he maintained.
Pervaiz Malik said that government had provided various facilitations to textile sector, which included reduction in mark-up rate on Long Term Financing Facility (LTFF) for 3-10 years duration from around 11.4 percent to five percent, besides inclusion of spinning and ginning sector in the LTFF; Duty-free import of textile machinery continued for 2017-18; Uninterrupted electricity and gas supply to textile sector; Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) Schemes 2016-19 for textile sector had been notified and amount for 2016-17 had been released to the State Bank; Textile machinery was made zero-rated under PM Export Package and continued for 2017-18; Enactment of Plant Breeders Right Bill; Duty Drawback was provided to garment, made ups, processed fabrics and yarn and gray fabric at seven, six, five and four percent respectively.
He continued that the scheme was revised to facilitate the exporters by 50 percent drawback without any condition; Remaining 50 percent on achieving 10 percent increase in exports; Two percent additional incentives to exports to non-traditional markets.