PRGMEA backs PM stance on India but wants duty-free fabric import from across world

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Lahore: Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA), supporting the Prime Minister’s stance of ‘no trade with India under current circumstances, reiterated its demand of allowing duty-free import of fabric from across the world to overcome local shortage, as the fabric in Pakistan is being sold at $2.5 against rate of $1.5 in China.

PRGMEA north zone chief and vice chairman Adeeb Iqbal Shikeh, stressing the need for duty-free fabric import to encourage value-addition, suggested the government to review its textile policy to remove hurdles hindering exports and to enable the textile sector to attain the exports targets.

Garment industry fully supports the government to continue halting all types of trade with India until it revisit its unilateral and illegal measures of August 5, 2019 regarding held Kashmir. We also appreciates the prime minister for instructing the Ministry of Commerce and his economic team to immediately take steps to facilitate the relevant sectors, value added apparel, by finding alternative cheap sources of import of the needed commodities, he added.

“We urge the government to abolish all duties on the import of fabrics, as value-added garment sector is facing severe shortage of basic raw material of fabrics, which may lead to a drastic decline in value-added textile export. We also want duty-free import of fabric,” he added.

He said that cotton prices have fallen by Rs400 to Rs10,800 per maund while no cut in fabric prices have been seen so far in spite of declining trend in global market.

He also suggested the government to remove custom duty on yarn as well as fabric import, as its shortage has increased seriously despite removal of 5% regulatory duty on yarn. “We appeal the government to withdraw 5% Customs duty on yarn and fabric import following the abolishment of Regulatory duty on yarn in view of controlling shortage of apparel industry’s raw material.

He said that another important issue which has been hitting the exporters hard is the astute depreciation of dollar against rupee, because the garment exporters had booked their annual orders for the global buyers at the rate of Rs.167 per dollar, which has now nosedived to Rs153. The garment exporters are facing financial crunch, since their cost has increased because of dollar depreciation against rupee from 167 to 153 and increase in prices of cotton yarn by more than 40 percent, he said.

PRGMEA also urged the government to impose a complete ban on export of fabric till the sufficient raw material is available to the industry. It will be positive for the apparel industry to convert it into value-added goods, exporting them in the international market instead of raw fabric, he added.