Supporting the Prime Minister’s stand on “no trade with India” in the current circumstances, the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) reiterated its demand for duty-free fabric imports from around the world to alleviate local shortages, as fabric in Pakistan costs $2.5 compared to $1.5 in China.
Adeeb Iqbal Sheikh, PRGMEA north zone leader and vice chairman, emphasised the importance of duty-free fabric imports to promote value addition and suggested that the government review its textile policy to eliminate barriers to exports and allow the textile sector to meet its export targets.
The garment industry completely supports the government’s decision to continue halting all forms of trade with India until it reconsiders its unilateral and illegal actions in Kashmir on August 5, 2019. We also appreciated the prime minister’s instruction to the Ministry of Commerce and his economic team to take immediate steps to help the related sectors, such as value-added apparel, by locating alternative low-cost sources of import of the required commodities, he added. In addition, similar to the action taken against the sugar cartel, strong action against the textile mafia who are hoarding a large stock to establish artificial shortages to make money is needed.
“We urged the government to eliminate all tariffs on fabric imports, as the value-added garment sector is experiencing a serious shortage of basic fabric raw materials, potentially resulting in a sharp drop in value-added textile exports. We also want fabric imports to be duty-free,” he said.
Despite the global market’s declining trend, he said, cotton prices have dropped by Rs 400 to Rs 10,800 per maund, though fabric prices have remained unchanged.
“Following the repeal of the Customs and Regulatory Duty on Yarn, we urge the government to remove all forms of duties and taxes on fabric imports in order to address the scarcity of raw materials in the apparel industry.”
Another problem that has been hurting exporters is the sharp depreciation of the dollar against the rupee, he said, because garment exporters had booked their annual orders for global buyers at a rate of Rs 167 per dollar, which has now dropped to Rs 153.