Federal Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar has responded positively to the demands of Pakistani apparel exporters, promising to address the liquidity crunch caused by blockage of sales tax refunds, which is affecting the cash flow of garment exporters.
Speaking during an interactive session held in Sialkot on request of the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), Qamar pledged to convene a meeting with the Federal Board of Revenue to urgently resolve the issue. He also emphasized the government's commitment to reducing the cost of doing business and providing a level playing field for export-oriented sectors, including textiles.
Qamar praised the efforts of Sialkot-based garment exporters and expressed his support for the establishment of a Sialkot Garment City, as well as the completion of the Garment Technical Training Centre. These initiatives, according to the IAF regional chief and ex-chairman of PRGMEA Ijaz Khokhar, would double the export value of Sialkot garments to $1 billion.
Khokhar also called for the implementation of the Textile and Apparel Policy 2020-25, which includes provisions for product diversification, value addition, and skill development. He suggested the restoration of the Duty Drawback on Taxes and Levies and the Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies, which would help Pakistani exporters to remain competitive in the global market.
The apparel industry in Pakistan is a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings, employment generation, and tax revenue.