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June 20, 2015

Textile exports decline by 2.85 percent in May

KARACHI: Despite having GSP plus Status, Pakistan’s textile exports for the month of May 2015 lowered by 2.85 percent year on year against May 2014, revealed Pakistan Bureau of Statistics data on Friday.
Provisional figures state May 2015 exports amounted to Rs198.851 billion as against Rs202.874 billion in April 2015 and Rs208.316 in May 2014, showing a decrease of 1.98 percent and 4.54 percent respectively.
Total textile exports during the period were recorded at Rs114.158 billion against Rs117.50 against the corresponding period last year.
With exception to readymade garments that recorded a growth of 32.72 percent, increasing to Rs19.118 billion against Rs14.405 billion, all other major textile exports declined during that period.
Exports of knitwear declined by 8.43 percent, bed wear by 6.86 percent, and towels by 6.28 percent in May 2015 against May 2014.
Pakistan has failed to achieve growth rate in textile under the GSP Plus status because of lack of planning, said Ijaz Khokhar, Chairman Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufactures and Exporters Association (PRGMEA).
Khokhar said that no proper marketing plan was prepared to achieve the benefits prior to GSP Plus. “We fail to plan early,” he said.
They received benefit of around $300 million automatically in apparel sector, which was not a remarkable achievement; he said a growth of 2-4 percent was recorded every year without GSP Plus.
PRGMEA chairman said the textile policy was announced with a delay of around seven months. It was due in July last year but arrived this year. Besides, there was a rift between commerce and textile ministries.
“They do not want to promote textiles further,” he said.
Textiles sectors Rs110 billion are stuck up as sales tax refunds with the FBR, causing a financial crunch in the industry. “If these dues were given in time along with an aggressive market plan, the sector could have benefitted,” he said. “Despite of lack of power and gas, there is still potential, which has not been cashed properly.”
Textile stakeholders are of the view that the sector was neglected in the Federal Budget 2015-16 and only a lollypop was given to the industry.
Former PRGMEA president Bilal Mulla called the federal budget a joke with the textile industrialists.
Minimum wages were increased to Rs13,000 against Rs12,000 that would further increase the cost of production. “We are ready to increase minimum wages but there should be efficient labour, which is not available in the industry currently,” he said.