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FAISALABAD: The government is implementing a sustainable growth model to enhance exports and attract maximum foreign remittances in order to get rid of inflation and loans on a permanent basis, said Mian Farrukh Habib, State Minister for Information & Broadcasting.

Addressing the Annual General Meeting (AGM)-cum-dinner of All Pakistan Bedsheets & Upholstery Manufacturers Association (APBUMA), he said that textile sector was experiencing worst crisis just 3-4 years ago, however Prime Minister Imran Khan who was then in opposition consulted all stakeholders and a comprehensive textile policy was evolved. He said that after coming into power the PTI government categorically announced subsidized gas and electricity tariff for the industrial sector so that its dynamism could be restored and “we could enhance our exports and create new job opportunities for the unemployed youth.”

He underlined the importance of the SME sector in the national economy and said that most of the Large Manufacturing Units (LMU) had started their journey as SME’s. He said that only the SME segment has potential to immediately double its exports and hence the government is trying its optimum best to resolve its problems on priority basis. He said that corona was a global phenomenon which has plugged major economies into turmoil but our government decided to continue industrial activities to save the exports and employment of industrial and commercial workers. He said that world financial institutions were predicting GDP growth of Pakistan at nominal rate of only 1.5-2 percent. He said that prudent policies played a major role in our growth which has crossed the mark of 4.5 percent and because of our sustainable economic model it will become 5 percent very soon.

Quoting various statistics, he said the government provided best possible facilities to stabilise the economy on the war footing. He said his office in Islamabad is open for the business community of Faisalabad and they could contact him at any time for the resolution of their individual and collective issues.

He appreciated the smooth transition of power in APBUMA and said the government was also contemplating to introduce Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) to restore the credibility of general elections. He said Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) and FPCCI should also switch over to the new technological interventions so that a conducive climate could be created in Pakistan for the use of electronic voting machines at the national level. Atif Munir Sheikh President said FCCI is the mother organization of all trade bodies which have been given due representation in this elected forum. He said the SME sector has to play its key role to reinvigorate the economy and the government must encourage the local textile sector through a special incentive package.

He said “from one dollar of yarn export we could fetch 12-16 dollars from the same volume of yarn through value addition; hence the government must focus on the value added textile sector.”

He said “Pakistan has harvested a bumper cotton crop and we have sufficient export orders. We will have to import high quality cotton yarn to meet our export orders,” adding that no doubt government has already trimmed Regulatory Duty from 10 to 5% but the appreciation of dollar has diluted this edge and the government must bring it down to zero.

He also supported the demand of zero rating for the SME sector and said that immediate steps would further spur the export activities in the country.

The meeting was also addressed by Senior Vice President FCCI Imran Mahmood Sheikh, Group Leader Mian Muhammad Adrees, Chairman Khawaja Muhammad Younis, Retiring Senior Vice Chairman APBUMA Engineer Bilal Jameel, Arif Ehsan Malik and Deputy Chief Manager SBP Faisalabad Muhammad Akbar.

Later, shields were also presented to the guests and participants of the meeting.—PR

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