The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar chaired the Committee on Restructuring (CCoR) held on March 27th, 2015 recommending the merger of the textile and commerce ministries.
The letter proposed regarding the same quoted that the Ministry of Textile Industry was established on the ethical demand of the value added textile export sector - the backbone and lifeline of our nationâ€™s economy, which exports 54.63 percent of the total nationâ€™s exports and generates 42 percent of the total employment including male and female workers.
But Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, chief coordinator of the value added associations said in the letter that they are surprised at such a recommendation and proposal of CCoR which has been made without consulting the export sector and genuine stakeholders and strongly opposes such an action.
He added that Pakistan the fourth largest cotton producer in the world is termed as a raw material supplier. Their cotton crop is 14 million bales, if they even convert 50 percent of 14 million bales, they can fetch price of $42 billion or if they convert 100 percent they can fetch $84 billion like is done in Bangladesh.
The letter also quoted that initially after the establishment of the Ministry of Textile Industry, textile exports flourished and received a great boost. However, the Ministry of Textile Industry has not been provided any powers to take vital decisions and issue SROs, therefore it faces problems in implementation of the vibrant textile policy .If the Ministry of Textile Industry is handed over the authority, it can alone, in consultation with the stakeholders, reduce the trade deficit and our textile exports can be enhanced to US $60 billion.
To this Bilwani stated that in India there is a full-fledged Ministry of Textiles despite the fact that their textile exports were 11.9 percent of total nationâ€™s exports, said the letter. Similarly their other competitors Bangladesh also has its Ministry of Textiles and its textile exports were 87.5 percent of total exports of Bangladesh.
The value-added textile export associations thus through their discussions signal a strong denial to any proposal to merge textile ministry with the commerce ministry in the letter addressed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday.
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