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Afridi: Pakistan’s New Textile Policy to be Ready in Few Days

Abbas Khan Afridi, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Textile Industry said on Thursday that a draft of the country’s new textile policy for 2014 to 2019, would be ready in just a few days and then forwarded to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet for approval.

Afridi explained in a media interview, “The textile sector alone has the potential to steer the country out of its financial crisis,” and “We have started focusing on exporting value-added products instead of raw materials to achieve this objective,” the Pakistan Observer reported.

He emphasized the need for creating a “comprehensive and long-term” policy with both the government and industry fully committed to exploiting the potential of all related textile sectors.

Afridi further stressed that the government was giving higher priority to the value-added textile sector in order to provide jobs and opportunities for the people, and to increase textile exports by $2 billion per year under the new textile policy.

According to Afridi, the government was aware that the value-added textile sector was facing severe issues and obstacles, which needed to be removed in the nation’s best interest in order to enhance exports.

The minister said that after the availability of GSP Plus (Generalized System of Preferences), the value-added sector exports increased by 21 percent to the European Union. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his cabinet took a righteous step to ensure 12 hours of gas supply to the textile sector in the winter and 24 hours of interrupted power supply besides reduction in power tariff.

Afridi concluded that the value-added textile sector can play a vital role in the creation of new employment opportunities. Thus, the government was making notable efforts to remove the obstacles hindering the sector’s growth in addition to providing all necessary facilities.