ISLAMABAD: Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi on Monday said the country’s exports of textile sector would be raised from current volume of US$ 13 billion to $26 billion per year in five years.
Announcing the new textile policy 2014-19 in a press briefing here, the minister said the government would shift focus from exporting raw
material to value added products as this approach would not only boost the economy but also help create millions of new employment opportunities.
“For increasing value-added products in the country, along with other measures, the government would also provide training to 120,000 people who will get a handsome stipend during their training period”, he added.
The minister said for textile policy 2014-19 which was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) on Monday, an amount of Rs Rs 64.15 billion was proposed for next five years against the allocation of Rs 188 billion for the last textile policy 2009-14.
The finance division will provide Rs 40.6 billion, whereas the remaining Rs 23.5 billion will be financed through Planning Commission and Textile Development Fund.
He said only Rs 25 billion out of its total allocation of Rs 188 billion were released during the last five years but now the government was committed to utilize the full allocation.
He said the volume of exports would be enhanced by $2 billion every year which would help create 5 million more employment opportunities in the textile sector.
Abbas Afridi said the Ministry of Textile Industry would encourage setting up Pak Cotton brand, fashion labels and brands abroad to increase exports as brand Development requires long term financial commitment, the Ministry would develop a scheme similar to LTFF with State Bank of Pakistan in which loans may be made available at same policy rates available in LTFF scheme.
He said Textile policy 2014-2019 envisages Pakistan as a leading value- added textile exporting country.
Textile industry is an important manufacturing sector and has complete production chain with inherent potential for value addition at all stages of processing.
Secretary textile industry Amir Marwat apprised on the occasion that textile policy 2014-2019 aims at doubling value addition from $ 1 billion per million bales to $2 billion per million bales in next five years, double textile exports from $13 billion to $ 26 billion, facilitate investment of additional $5 billion in machinery and technology, improve fiber mix in favour of non-cotton i.e from 14%to 30%, improve product mix especially in garment sector from 28% to 45%, promote use of ICT , development and strengthening of clusters.
The minister said the ministry proposed that schemes approved in finance bill 2014-15 may continue during the next five years.
These include drawback of local taxes and levies, reduction in markup rate from 9.4% to 7.5% under export refinance scheme, long term financing facility for technology upgradation at the rate of 9%, duty free import of machinery and vocational training.
He said for the next five years, Rs 40.6 billion have been reserved for incremental DLTL, Technology up gradation Fund, Brand Development Fund and drawback on deemed import basis.
Planning commission would cater for the rest Rs 23.40 billion through PC-1 to be allocated for skill development of hand loom workers, textile exhibition, hand knotted carpets, SME, trainings, product development & innovation fund , skill development program, textile universities,world textile centre, weaving city, mega and minor cluster development and better cotton initiative, he added.
To a question, Abbas Afridi said the government was providing gas and electricity to the textile sector as per commitment which would help enhance overall exports in this sector.