KARACHI AUG 04 (TNS): The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has asked Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to focus on the revival of the economy by reducing the cost of doing business, said a press release.
Zahid Mazhar, the Aptma acting chairman drew the premier’s attention to the record high trade deficit of $32.6 billion in 2016-17 as exports decreased to $20.45bn and imports rose to $53bn. He expressed hope that the new prime minister will leave no stone unturned for the revival of the economy in general and the textile industry in particular. He asked the prime minister to take immediate steps to stop the drastic fall in exports, which have been in decline for the last four years. Mr Mazhar said the textile industry is capable of bringing the economy out of the woods by increasing exports to $36bn.
“Nonetheless, the government will have to ensure a level playing field with regional countries,” he said, adding that eight per cent GDP growth is only possible if the government starts giving due attention to the export sector. He said the high cost of utilities, such as electricity, gas and water, cannot be passed on to international buyers. The acting Aptma chairman asked the prime minister to ensure that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) pays outstanding sales tax refunds that amount to over Rs200bn before August 14.
Textile industry is facing a severe liquidity crunch due to the delay in refund payments, he said. He also demanded the immediate implementation of Rs180bn incentives package for exporters announced in January.