Mr Syed Ali Ahsan, APTMA chairman has said that in order to grow exports the government needs to announce long-term investment and growth policies to enable the industry to undertake new investment decisions for technology up-gradation and value-addition, which will result in not only the generation of more exportable surplus but also new sustainable jobs.
Addressing a press conference at APTMA Punjab, he said that the in the next 5 years the industry has envisaged to double exports from $13.5 billion to $27 billion with the investment of $ 7 billion creating additional 1.5 million jobs. He appreciated the vision of the government in recognizing importance of exporting industry, the only way forward to export-led growth to overcome trade deficit and the consequent financial crisis faced by our economy.
Chairman APTMA further added that by announcing regionally competitive tariff for both gas and electricity that is flat regionally competitive electricity tariff US cents 7.5/kWh all inclusive and flat gas tariff USD 6.5/mmbtu all inclusive for captive and processing use in 5 zero rated sectors (exporting industry) the government has fulfilled its commitment for crisis ridden exporting industry (5 zero rated sectors).
He said this initiative of flat regionally competitive electricity tariff would not only reduce interprovincial disparity but also inter sectoral (captive/prime user) disparity.
He said resolving the energy affordability issue is a positive step for reviving 30% closed/idle capacity, which is located predominantly in Punjab. However, he added, this regime should continue for next 5 years for the growth of industry on sustainable basis.
About the announcement of flat gas tariff, he said priority of exporting industry has been upgraded and moved to 2nd in Gas Allocation and Management Policy 2013 ensuring gas availability throughout the year.
Meanwhile, Mr Gohar Ejaz welcomed the initiatives for providing affordable energy to export industry by the government as promised to do so within a period of three months. He said that this will go a long way in taking the textile industry to new heights.
He urged the government and the economic managers to ensure earliest issuance of related notifications so that the industry can focus on production, secure export orders and undertake new investment initiatives.
Furthermore, he also demanded of a long term export-led growth policy, containing initiatives for availability of raw materials, both cotton and polyester staple fiber, without incidentals and at regionally competitive price, immediate payment of pending refunds of the industry, and the facility of LTFF to indirect exports for making investment in technology and value addition.
He said that it is the only sustainable solution for foreign exchange earnings from exports instead of looking towards IMF or a country specific support.