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The textile industry has pinned high hopes on the upcoming meeting of the premier with industry associations, signalling a much-awaited relief package that is expected to be announced in the follow-up, sources claimed. Nawaz Sharif is due to meet the textile associations one-by-one.

The sources say his office has sought four names from each association for the meeting and that he will extend audience to each textile industry association individually to listen to their concerns. There are as many as 11 associations representing different sectors right from basic textile to the value-added sector. Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Chairman S M Munir has played a key role in convincing the premier to resolve the textile issues.

Talking to Business Recorder a day earlier, Chairman Munir had pointed out that the benefit of the GSP plus had been nullified by the short supply of electricity and water to the industrial units in Lahore and Karachi respectively. "The textile industry has lost 4.5 percent during the past fiscal year," he claimed. But he did say he was satisfied with the government decision to exempt the Punjab-based textile industry from the nuisance of power outages. "I am hopeful that the industry will soon catch up the losses and start performing," he added.

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Advisor Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan have held detailed string of meetings with representatives from the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association to finalise the relief package. The industry sources say they are expecting Rs 100 billion package for the textile industry and that the viability of the industry was under threat and the government would have to introduce multiple measures to arrest the decline in exports. The associations from the value-added sector have decided to oppose a demand for banning import of fabrics, saying the local textile industry was unable to fulfil their needs.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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