Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) Chairman Dr. Khurram Anwar Khawaja appreciating the move to withdraw duties and taxes on the import of cotton to encourage the value-addition has also demanded the same relaxation for the import of cotton yarn, which is a raw material for value-added knitwear sector. Dr. Khurram said that Prime Minister’s package for exporters was announced on January 10, 2017, wherein textile apparel sector was to be provided a number of facilitations, including withdrawal of customs duty and sales tax on the import of cotton yarn from January 16, 2017, but no such measure was taken so far.

PHMA Chairman demanded the liberal import policy for raw materials for re-export like duty-free import of fabrics and accessories in the same way as practiced by their competitor Bangladesh. Besides improving the law and order, and providing non-stop gas and electricity supply, the government will also have to relax import policy to empower the value-added knitwear industry to get maximum benefits out of the GSP Plus Status, as the country has no raw material except cotton.

PHMA supported the relief package declared for spinning industry particularly easing cost of doing business and relief in power tariff but opposed duty on the import of textile raw materials. He appealed to the government to abolish additional regulatory duty on cotton yarn that should be imported freely from anywhere. He asked the government to take preventive measures, as the export target would not be achieved due to high energy cost and discriminating import duties on industry raw material.

The textile has become the most important sector especially after grant of the GSP Plus status by the EU countries but the sharp increase in cotton yarn prices and the artificial shortage had hit the export-oriented value-added garment sector hard.