APTMA defers Aug 7 strike for a month after Dar’s assurance

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August 05, 2015 All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman SM Tanveer on Tuesday announced to defer the August 7 strike of the textile industry for a month after assurance of the Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to resolve the industry’s viability issues by Aug 31.

Tanveer was addressing a press conference at the Punjab office of the association after presiding over a general body meeting of the members. He said the APTMA general body has given him the mandate of calling off the strike for a month.

“We will call another general body on September 4 to decide whether to hold strike for one day or indefinite period in case the government fails to resolve industry issues,” he said.

“I have my full confidence on the pro-industry approach of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar,” he added.

He said that the government had formed four committees to tackle the issues relating to the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Water and Power, Ministry of Oil and Gas and the Federal Board of Revenue.

“We have already made a detailed presentation on the industry’s issues before Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir and the Senate’s Standing Committee on Textile,” he said, adding that the meetings agreed that textile mills are being forced to close business because of the government’s policies.

“The government has burdened the textile industry with Rs 38 billion gas infrastructure development cess, Rs 78 billion electricity surcharge and Rs 65 billion innovative taxes,” he said.

“The total impact of this burden comes around Rs 157 billion per annum, which is 12 per cent of the sales of the industry.”

He said the textile millers were unable to bear this burden and compete in the region. “The federal finance minister has also agreed that the textile industry has become uncompetitive in the region.”

He said the textile exports have increased by 230 per cent in Vietnam, 160 per cent in Bangladesh, 97 per cent in China and 94 per cent in India during 2006 – 2013. On the other hand, Pakistani textile industry has registered a growth of merely 22 per cent during the same period, which is even less than the world average increase of 44 per cent.

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