Lahore: Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has appealed the government to allow duty-free import of fabric under a simple and easy procedure instead of ‘Procedure of Duty Tax Remission for Exports’ (DTRE), which is very complicated, as only two percent of the exporters can avail importing under the DTRE facility.
PRGMEA Vice Chairman and north zone head Adeeb Iqbal Shikeh stressing the need for duty-free fabric import to encourage value-addition, suggested the government to review its textile policy to remove hurdles hindering exports and to enable the textile sector to attain the exports targets.
“We urge the government to abolish all duties on the import of fabrics in line with the import relaxation provided on import of cotton yarn, as value-added garment sector is facing severe shortage of basic raw material of fabrics, which may lead to a drastic decline in value-added textile export. We also want duty-free import of fabric, as the cotton prices find no respite from an unabated spike with the industrial input trading at season’s highest rates because its muted local production continues to widen demand and supply gap,” he added.
He said that the whole process of import as well as audit under DTRE system takes at least 26 weeks in Pakistan while in Bangladesh the entire procedure is completed in just in two hours. As a result, Bangladesh textile exports have surged to $26 billion without producing a single bale of cotton while Pakistan has never crossed the figure of $16 billion despite producing its own raw material.
“Procedure of Duty Tax Remission for Exports (DTRE) scheme has been designed in such a manner that just few companies out of thousands of value-added textile sector units in Pakistan were benefiting from the scheme to increase the country’s export volumes.”
He also suggested the government to remove custom duty on yarn as well as fabric import, as its shortage has increased seriously despite removal of 5% regulatory duty on yarn. “We appeal the government to withdraw 5% Customs duty on yarn and fabric import following the abolishment of Regulatory duty on yarn in view of controlling shortage of apparel industry’s raw material.
PRGMEA also urged the government to impose a complete ban on export of fabric till the sufficient raw material is available to the industry. It will be positive for the apparel industry to convert it into value-added goods, exporting them in the international market instead of raw fabric, he added.
Stressing the need for consistency in export-related policies, he urged the government to simplify the complex nature of several segments of its policy, including DTRE and Sales Tax Refund system.=DNA