The value-added textile export associations have rejected any proposal to merge textile ministry with the commerce ministry in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday.
According to the letter, the Cabinet Committee on Restructuring (CCoR) held on March 27th, 2015 chaired by Federal Minister for Finance Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, had recommended and proposed to club textile division and commerce division together under one umbrella of Ministry of Commerce, which was indeed alarming.
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.
“The Ministry of Textile Industry was established on the ethical demand of the value added textile export sector – the backbone and lifeline of our nation’s economy, which exports 54.63 percent of the total nation’s exports and generates 42 percent of the total employment including male and female workers,” the letter said.
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,” it said. “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.”
Pakistan the fourth largest cotton producer in the world is termed as a raw material supplier. “Our cotton crop is 14 million bales, if we even convert 50 percent of 14 million bales, we can fetch price of $42 billion or if we convert 100 percent we can fetch $84 billion like is done in Bangladesh,” Bilwani said.
In India there is a full-fledged Ministry of Textiles despite the fact that their textile exports were 11.9 percent of total nation’s exports, said the letter. “Similarly our other competitors Bangladesh also has its Ministry of Textiles and its textile exports were 87.5 percent of total exports of Bangladesh,” he added.