LAHORE: The Federal Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Textile Industry, Rukhsana Shah, has observed that the value-added textile industry, which is very important in terms of export as well as employment generation, needs to offer more diversified products to benefit from the GSP plus.
Addressing the PRMGEA Managing Committee during her visit to North Zone office in Lahore, Secretary Textile Industry Division assured Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association of having separate Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) for readymade garments industry very soon.
”I will take up the issue with FBR chairman, as time has come to acknowledge the high potential of this sector which is important in terms of export as well as employment generation. The government is focused to maximize the benefits from the GSP plus status to its selected textile products.” Rukhsana Shah said the development of synergies between local and international textile sectors is crucial for Pakistan to get advantage from the generalized system of preferences status.
The meeting was attended among others by Add secretary Kanwar Usman, PRGMEA Senior Vice Chairman Jawwad A. Chaudhary, former chairman Sajid Saleem Minhas and PRGMEA Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar. Addressing the meeting PRGMEA Senior Vice Chairman Jawwad A. Chaudhary, said that PRGMEA being one of the major value-added stakeholders are playing pivotal role in earning foreign exchange as well as generating employment opportunities without any gender discrimination.
Jawwad A. Chaudhary demanded the liberal import policy for raw materials for re-export like duty-free import of fabrics and accessories same as Bangladesh, besides simplifying MINTEX Registration procedure. “We suggest the government to make it mandatory that all export invoices be attested and recorded by the Associations before Customs. This way all export commodities will be recorded in respective HS Code and export data will be compiled appropriately. Furthermore, EDF collected from specific sector be spent through respective associations. Sales Tax should be zero-rated, whereas since February, 2013 our members were paying 2% sales tax which has not been refunded so far and now through SRO 898 this has been increased to 3%.
PRGMEA former chairman and chief coordinator Ijaz Khokhar lauded the government for achieving favourable support from the International Trade Committee of EU, which has approved the duty-free status for Pakistan leading to boost the exports of the value-added textile sector and create job opportunities. Khokhar lamented that Pakistan could utilise only three textile categories out of total 73 types relaxed by the EU countries for duty-free import from Pakistan in 2013.
Sajid Saleem Minhas, former chairman, said that besides improving law and order, controlling terrorism and providing non-stop gas and electricity supply, the government would have to relax import policy to empower value-added textile industry to get the maximum benefit of GSP Plus Status, as the country had no raw material except cotton.
Minhas expressed his disappointment over the FBR delaying tactics, as no company had get refund for two percent sales tax on purchases of raw material for export since February 2013, while refund claims of billions of rupees of 2010 were also pending yet. He said that revenue generation through taxes was not a good approach by keeping the value-added textile industry hostage.