The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) to resolve the crisis the industry has been embroiled in for years has announced that its members are ready to establish 1,000 garment manufacturing plants with a total investment of $7 billion near major textile producing cities like Lahore, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Kasur, Multan, Sialkot, Rawalpindi, Karachi and Peshawar.
The proposed 1,000 plants will install half a million stitching machines, which will boost annual production to three billion pieces.
According to a proposal presented by Aptma to the government departments concerned, Pakistanâ€™s textile industry has witnessed dwindling investments over the last decade as prospective investors are reluctant to make new investment decisions due to high cost of doing business. As a result, the industry has lost technological advantage over its competitors.
New investments dropped to Rs0.56 billion in 2016-17 compared to Rs1 billion in 2005-06.
The proposal further said that currently around 35% of the textile industryâ€™s production capacity was impaired which caused loss of approximately $4.14 billion worth of potential exports.
On the proposal entering the implementation phase, the sector will need an additional 10.3 million bales of raw cotton, 345 million kg of manmade fibre, 1.983 billion kg of additional yarn and an additional 7.928 billion square metres of processed fibre. Cotton-producing area and cotton production, however, have declined 30% and 38% respectively in Punjab since 2011.
Within the textile sector, readymade garments have shown an impressive growth over the years despite the overall poor performance of the textile sector. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, exports of readymade garments registered 5.55% year-on-year growth against the overall flat growth of the textile sector which stood at $12.45 billion in 2016-17.
In return for the investment, Aptma members demanded corrective and conducive policy measures from the departments concerned.
The government was only able to implement 15% of the Textile Policy 2009-14 and only 5% of the framework for 2014-19 along with PMâ€™s export-led growth package of Rs180 billion, the association pointed out in the proposal.
It also sought a long-term policy which included consistent energy prices across the country and removal of Rs3.50 per kilowatt-hour surcharge on electricity tariff along with extending the duty drawback scheme for five years and drawbacks to be increased every year by 1% for garments (up to 12%) and made-ups (up to 10%) against realisation of export proceeds.
The proposal also state that the government should allow LTFF (long-term financing facility) to indirect exports, Islamic financing and building of infrastructure for garment plants.
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