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News Clips 03 March, 2015


[ Payment of Mark-up Support for Textile Sector: SBP asks banks/DFIs to lodge claims ]
[ Rs1.6bn textile projects cleared ]
[ Pakistan Textile City Karachi project on the verge of collapse: minister tells National Assembly Committee ]
[ Government urged to pay ST refund immediately ]

Payment of Mark-up Support for Textile Sector: SBP asks banks/DFIs to lodge claims   [ top ]

Business Recorder, March 3, 2015
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has directed the banks/DFIs to lodge claims for Mark up Support for Textile Sector against Long Term Loans for the six months period from September 2011 to February 2012. Under the scheme, Ministry of Textile Industry (MINTEX) supports in extent of 5 percent or the difference in mark-up rate between floating rate loan and LTF rate, which is lower. 

The subsidy paid by the commercial banks/DFIs on six months basis in March and September each year subject to release of necessary budgetary allocation by the federal government. According to SBP, MINTEX has released funds to make payments Mark-up Rate Support for Textile Sector against Long Term Loans. Accordingly, the banks/DFIs may lodge claims for Markup Support under the scheme, for the six months period (from 01-09-2011 to 28-02-2012), keeping in view the terms & conditions of Scheme. 

Duly completed claims as per formats, may be lodged with the SBP-BSC (Bank) offices up-to March 31, 2015. "Each claim should invariably be accompanied with a duly attested copy of valid registration certificate of MINTEX. In order to facilitate the banks, the list of units registered with MINTEX is available on website. The banks can use this facility to check the authenticity of the certificate as well as their expiry date," SBP concluded. 

Rs1.6bn textile projects cleared    [ top ]

DAWN, March 3, 2015
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly standing committee on textile has approved development projects worth Rs1.616 billion for the fiscal year 2015-16.

The committee, headed by MNA Ghulam Rasool Koreja, finalised the budgetary proposals for inclusion in the next Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2015-16.

The textile industry proposed that Pakistan Textile City Karachi must be on agenda in the next meeting so that the issues related to the project can be addressed as soon as possible. The project would provide employment to over 50,000 people.

The projects approved include Rs598.5 million for the establishment of garments city in Faisalabad (Phase-11) and Rs60m for Faisalabad Garment City Training Centre. 

The committee also approved Rs805.119m for Karachi Garment City Phase-1; Rs59.822m for monitoring and management of BT resistance in cotton bollworms, Rs17.190m for cotton as relay crop in standing wheat for enhancing productivity of cotton and wheat crop, Rs59.928m for development of management strategies for red and dusky cotton bugs, and Rs75.160m for -implementation of cotton standardisation system for production of high quality standardised clean cotton and prime minister’s skill development programme.

The committee also approved the continuation of ongoing projects (included in PSDP 2014-15), Pakistan-Korea Garment Technology Training Institute, Karachi; strengthening of National Textile University Research Centre; strengthening of research and development cell and skill development programme for informal textile industry.

The other projects approved include laying of water main for Pakistan Textile City Karachi and Lahore Garment City (Phase-1) 

Pakistan Textile City Karachi project on the verge of collapse: minister tells National Assembly Committee   [ top ]

Business Recorder, March 3, 2015
The Pakistan Textile City Karachi project is on the verge of collapse, incurring huge loss to the national exchequer as the government is paying about Rs 400 million as interest on banks loans per annum. This was revealed by Federal Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Textile Industry here on Monday. The meeting was presided over by Khawaja Ghulam Rasool Koreja. 

The Textile Minister sought parliamentarians help in this regard, saying the project should either be shelved or developed as there are too many issues including gas and electricity provision. He said that if the project succeeds, it will play a pivotal role in country''s economy. 

The project was twice inaugurated in the past, but pending for last 11 years and incurring huge losses to the national kitty. All related issues to the much delayed project must be addressed as soon as possible, as it would provide employment to over 50,000 people, the minister maintained. The committee supported the minister and decided to hold next meeting at the project site to review the actual situation. 

The committee expressed serious reservations over the unabated raw cotton exports, saying that after three months, no cotton would be available for the local industry. The parliamentary panel strongly recommended limited raw cotton export and opposed any duty on yarn import, as it is benefiting other regional competitors and hurting the domestic value-added textile industry. 

Parliamentarians observed that cotton is being exported to China and Bangladesh which are the main competitors of Pakistan and their export is strengthening. Abdul Rasheed Godil said that a certain "mafia" has besieged the textile industry. The Textile Minister seconded the proposal of limited cotton export. The minister said that raw cotton export results in competitive advantage for other countries such as Bangladesh and negatively impacts our exports. Value addition is norm of the day and must be encouraged. 

The committee recommended eight new and five on-going projects worth over Rs 3.5 billion under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) of 2015-16. The committee raised serious concerns over the Faisalabad Garment City (Phase-I), saying that some special people were benefited. 

The committee was informed that the Garment City building, constructed at a cost of Rs 600 million, however rented to Masood Textile on a nominal rent of Rs 25 million per annum. Officials informed that following PPRA rules tenders were floated three times; however nobody expressed interest in it and finally it was rented to Masood Textile. 

The committee observed that rent was not upto the mark and recommended for upward revision. Ministry officials assured the committee that the matter would be raised with the Board of Directors of the Company and hopefully it would be revised upward. The committee recommended the second phase of Faisalabad Garment City with the conditions that only smaller units or clusters would be allowed in the project ranging from 20-50 machines. 

The committee also recommended opening of two textile sale production bureau in Dubai and in South Africa where exporters could display their products to earn more foreign exchange. The committee also supported the ministry over its stance of getting its due share from the Export Development Fund (EDF). The committee discussed and approved projects, including Faisalabad Garment city phase-2 (Rs 598.5 million), Faisalabad Garment City Training Centre (Rs 60 million), Karachi Garment City phase-1(Rs 805.119 million), monitoring and management of BT resistance in cotton bollworms (Rs 59.822 million), cotton as relay crop in standing wheat for enhancing productivity of cotton and wheat crop (Rs 17.190 million), development of management strategies for red and dusky cotton bugs(Rs 59.928 million), implementation of cotton standardisation system for the production of high quality standardised clean cotton (Rs 75.160 million) and the Prime Minister''s Skill Development Programme. 

The continuation of on going projects (included in PSDP 2014-2015) Pak-Korea Garment Technology Training Institute Karachi, strengthening of National Textile University Research Centre, strengthening of Research and Development Cell, Skill Development Program for informal textile industry were also approved. The other approved projects include laying of water main line for Pakistan Textile City Karachi and Lahore Garment City (phase-1). 

Government urged to pay ST refund immediately   [ top ]

Business Recorder, March 1, 2015
The Chief Executive of TDAP S M Muneer has urged the government to immediately pay sales tax refund to business community which were delayed for last two years. This is a great hurdle in the economic growth of country. "If government pays this refund to all business community, he takes responsibility to take export to $5 billion during this year," he added. 

He was speaking at the First International Textile Conference & Awards 2015, organised by Publicity Channel in collaboration with TDAP, Ministry of Textile, GOP, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) and Towel Manufacturers Association Pakistan (TMAP). Guest of honour Chairman Board of Investment Dr Miftah Ismail talked about investment prospects in textile sector and told that economy is moving forward in Pakistan. "We are included in IMF programme for the last one and a half year and six reviews have been done so far very successfully. Government is doing all those tasks as promised by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the election manifesto", he said. 

He said the economy has been stabilised and Pakistan has already taken off on road to prosperity. Now everyone should play one''''''''s role for development of the country. Chairman Towel Manufacturers Association Pakistan Mehtabuddin Chawla said that after winning status of GSP Plus, the government is engaged in signing understandings with countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Turkey which will allow zero percent custom duty on exports. Assurance by Prime Minister to facilitate investments is encouraging. Now, the people should make investments in the country, he said. Former Advisor to Prime Minister on Textiles, Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig said the foreign investors should also come and do business with complete peace of mind with Pakistanis. He gave an overview of textile sector saying that this sector accounts for 55 percent of the total exports with a volume of US $13 million. This sector provides 38 percent jobs with 10 percent contribution to the GDP.-PR