The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has called on the government to focus its attention on increasing exports urging it to take measures to increase industrialization and also appreciated the significant drop in trade deficit.
Talking to media, PTEA Chairman Sohail Pasha appreciated the fall in trade deficit during July-November from $14.47 billion to $9.496 billion compared to the same period last year. However, he said that this change in trade deficit was due to the import side and not from exports. The growth in exports remained tepid, he added.
Quoting official figures, he said that exports fell by 0.67 percent in November over the last month, while the average rise in exports in the first five months was less than 5 percent. He said that the change showed that the export target would not be achieved this year.
Pasha said that it was the first time in 15 years that imports declined but low exports were still a major issue for Pakistan’s economy and its growth. He said, “Lack of diversification of export destinations and products and high cost of doing business are among the key factors behind low exports”.
Pasha said that despite the crisis, textile industry had remained the most export-oriented sector of the country’s economy. He said that the sector had a 60 percent share in Pakistan’s export revenues; but stagnating textiles exports had been a consistent source of concern for the economy.
He listed stuck up liquidity, high energy and inputs prices and imposition of duties & taxes on inputs and raw materials as the hurdles impacting production, employment and exports. He said that a large sum was stuck in income tax, custom duty drawback and textile policy incentive regime despite the government’s drives to address these issues.
Pasha demanded immediate simplification of Annexure H while also appreciating the launch of FASTER module for expeditious payment of sales tax refunds to exporters. He also called on the government to implement the announced subsidized loan schemes such as the Export Finance Scheme (EFS) and Long Term Finance Facility (LTFF).