The government of Pakistan, in light of recommendations by Dr Ishrat Hussain, has merged federal Commerce and Textile Divisions and the Ministry of Commerce and Textile has been renamed as Ministry of Commerce.
The federal cabinet has given the go-ahead for the merger and as a result, 19 sub-bodies of seven ministries will be merged and nine subordinate departments of five ministries will be transferred to other ministries, whereas five departments of three ministries will be abolished.
As per the rules of business, the Commerce Division will include all imports and exports across custom frontier as well as: (i) treaties, agreements, protocols and conventions with other countries and international agencies bearing on trade and commerce; (ii) promotion of foreign trade including trader offices abroad, trade delegations to and from abroad, overseas trade exhibitions and conferences and committee connected with foreign trade; (iii) standards of quality of goods to be imported and exported; (iv) transit trade and border trade and; (v) state trading.
Commerce Ministry will also be responsible for inter-provincial trade, commercial intelligence and statistics, organization and control of chamber of and associations of commerce and industry, tariff (protection) policy and its implementation, law of insurance, regulation and control of insurance companies, actual work, insurance of war, riot and civil commotion risks and life insurance but excluding health and unemployment insurance, export promotion, special selection board for selection of commercial officers for posting in Pakistan Missions abroad, anti-dumping duties, countervailing and safeguard laws, management of EDF/EMDF, domestic commerce reforms and development in collaboration with other Ministries, provincial and local government, Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO), textile industrial policy, coordination and liaison with federal agencies/institutions, provincial governments and local government entities for facilitation and promotion of the textile sector, liaison, dialogues, negotiations, except trade negotiations, and cooperation with international donor agencies and multilateral regulatory and development organizations with regard to textile sector, setting of standard and monitoring and maintaining, vigilance for strict compliance of the standards throughout production and value chain, textile related statistics, surveys, commercial intelligence, analysis and dissemination of information and reports on international demand patterns, market access etc., linkage with cotton and textile producing countries, training, skill development, research for quality improvement and productivity enhancement throughout the production/ value chain and management of textile quotas.
Commerce Division will be given the administrative control of (i) Federal Textile Board; (ii) Textile City (projects), Karachi/Faisalabad; (iii) National Textile University, Faisalabad; (iv) Textile Commissioners Organization;(v) Directorate General of Textile & Quota Supervisory Council; (vi) all textiles related EPB/ EDF funded institutes concerned with skill development in various sub-sectors of textile industry; (vii) textile testing laboratory, Faisalabad; (viii) Garment City Projects at Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi and; (ix) Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute, Karachi.
Commerce Ministry will also deal with the cotton hedge markets and three attached departments i.e. Cotton Board, Directorate General of Trade Organization and Textile Commissioner’s Organization.