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Pakistan finds export surplus elusive

Pakistan’s textile industry is unable to meet export orders and cannot expand its operations to create an export surplus. Among the factors hindering Pakistan’s textile exports are the withdrawal of the zero rating status, the high energy cost and the cotton shortage. The industry wants the energy package continued for another five years. Sales tax is collected on value added items at each stage but refunds are only available after export. The production cycle requires 185 days to complete. This has triggered a huge liquidity crisis. Adequate finance and credit availability are stressed as vital for the growth and enhancement of the industry. Over the last five years Pakistan’s cotton production has fallen by 22 per cent which has caused a loss of almost two per cent of the total GDP. The textile industry will have to import five million bales to meet the requirements in the ongoing financial year.

Over the last one year, interest rate has increased from 5.75 per cent to 13.25 per cent, further restraining investment in the sector, along with increased working capital requirements owing to the recent devaluation of the currency. One suggestion by the industry is that advanced seed technology be available for quality seed development. Seed technology controls weeds and insects.