Pakistan witnessed a sharp decline of more than 60 percent in carpet export during the last six years due to acute shortage of electricity, bad law and order, inflation, shortage of skilled labour force and high mark-up rate. Hand-made carpet export has dropped to $120 million from $300 million, depriving almost 0.5 million people of their employment. Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PCMEA) Major Akhtar Nazir Khan Cooki (Retd) and Vice Chairman (North Zone), Kamran Razi said on Saturday.
The industry is in extreme need of the government help, which can provide it at some ad hoc relief to revive the carpet ailing industry, besides helping 0.5 million unemployed people to return to work.
The carpet sector will be unable to benefit from the duty-free access to EU market under GSP Plus status unless the government restores zero-rated facility. As a significant ratio of working capital of carpet exporters is already held up in refund regime at a time when the carpet export is declining.
Due to global recession and declining exports, the industry needs some concession from the government side in areas of credit financing and bank loans. According to Kamran Razi the decline was primarily caused by foreign travel advisory, who were unable to convince the buyer to visit Pakistan, coupled with disturbed supply line.
However, small-scale factories in rural areas can help a lot to give a boost to the industry. There are some traditional workers of carpet manufacturing industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, interior Sindh and Punjab, who need proper training and financing to maintain proper supply chain of the product.
Eastern Europe, China and South America are the potential regions of carpet export. But, the Pakistan carpet business will be very challenging in the future as they face a tough competition from India in the global arena, as cost of production in this business is constantly rising.
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