Pay attention to the textile industry complaints: Sherry Rehman
ISLAMABAD, June 30, 2015: “The announcement of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association to close down the textile industry is a stark reminder of the federal government’s failure to revive the economy and protect its most valuable sector in any significant way,” Senator Sherry Rehman said on Monday.
“Talk among industry captains suggests that the federal government wants mill-owners, and downstream industries to switch to the new, much more expensive LNG that was brought to Pakistan minus transparency. The government’s need to pay a minimum user-charge to this terminal may be the reason the gas squeeze is on industry, said Rehman.
Rehman’s statement follows one by the APTMA Chairman SM Tanveer, who said that the cost of doing business in Pakistan, exacerbated by poor taxation mechanisms, energy issues, and system inefficiencies, had rendered the textile industry of the country “unviable”.
“The government’s failure to address the energy crisis has left both households as well as industries distressed in ways Pakistan has never seen before,” added Senator Rehman.
“The textile sector accounts for 40 per cent of the labour force – imagine the impact on each household if the industry is shut down,” she said, adding that the entire responsibility of the resultant fallout would be on the federal government’s shoulders.
“The textile industry workers, already over-burdened in a time of limited job opportunities, constricted growth in the economy, and a regressive taxation mechanism, will not be able to sustain their livelihoods,” she added.
The Vice President of the PPPP said that due to its extensive value chain, the closure of the industry would have immense bearing not only on workers directly involved, but also on industries associated indirectly with it.
“I urge the federal government to pay attention to the protests erupting from the textile industry in Sindh, KPK, and Punjab before it is too late and Pakistan sees more divisive public outcry which it can ill afford,” said Rehman.
“By the government’s own admission, as many as 10 million people are associated with the textile sector in Pakistan,” she added.