All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) said that country has already entered in an era of de-industrialisation where industries are closing. Almost 140 textile mills have already closed their operations and about one million workers have lost their jobs, with another 75 to 80 mills are on the verge of closure.
This was stated by All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Sr. Vice Chairman Zahid Mazhar in reaction to Federal Secretary Ministry of Commerce Muhammad Younus Dagha’s statement in which blamed the textile industry itself for its decline. He was referring to a meeting held last week at Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association where Mr. Dagha passed these remarks and stated that the Pakistan Textile Exports have shown decline during the last four years because of the high cost of doing business, a figure that is the highest in the region.
Zahid Mazhar said that country’s textile industries are on the verge of closing, In 2005, the share of manufacturing in the GDP was 19% which has now fallen to 13%. He said that the textile industry has been hit hard due to the high cost of energy sources, resulting in making Pakistan’s exports noncompetitive in the global market. The cost of production of both gas and electricity is about 30 percent higher than in other competing countries in the region like Bangladesh, India and Vietnam.
“Trade deficit for the last fiscal year was recorded at an all-time high at US$ 32.58 Billion, with imports at $53 billion while exports were recorded at merely $20.45 billion, which was the lowest figure after fiscal year 2009-10,” Zahid Mazhar added.
To save the industry the government must remove the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) that is levied on gas supplies. He further demanded that the government should provide gas at the regionally competitive rate of Rs. 400/MMBTU as was earlier announced by the ECC in November 2016 but was not implemented in practice.