Textile sector that accounts for around 46 percent of entire manufacturing sector, generating 60 percent of total foreign exchange for the country is currently facing critical challenges.
Fluctuating cotton prices in the international market, and rising interest rates have crippled the exports of this industry. Further energy crisis has added to the woes of the manufacturers.
The industry engages more than 40 percent of labourers who depend solely on this sector for earning their livelihood.
Speaking exclusively to Fibre2fashion.com , Dr Murtaza Mughal, President of Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) told, вЂњThe crisis looming on the textile sector, needs immediate and proper Government intervention; otherwise competing in the international export market will be really difficult.вЂќ
Informing about PEW , Dr Mughal stated, вЂњWe are an independent group of experts and economists that works without any aid or prejudices. We provide recommendations to Government and concerned sectors. There are some issues that need to be addressed on priority. Lack of skilled workforce, professionals, designers and creativity is an issue.
вЂњAlthough there is a separate Textile Ministry, it is not delivering the way if should be, as other ministries are not cooperating with them. Like Production ministry feels that their powers have been snatched. Even interest rates are one of the highest in the world.вЂќ
He further stresses, вЂњSubstandard inputs at being used at every step; from sowing to finished products. Even availability of pesticides, insecticides always remained a problem. Modern cottonseed is yet to be introduced in majority of cotton sowing areas. Competition has increased since 2005 when special protection was withdrawal.
вЂњThe investment in R&D is also falling. World demand for textiles is currently nearing to 19 Trillion, (set to slide due to economic crunch); while PakistanвЂ™s share is less than 1 percent which will go down further. Most importantly energy outages have crippled this sector. Remaining working units are in business to keep the customers. There is interference and monopolies in the sector impeding growth.вЂќ
According to PEW President if Pakistani Government pays heed to the above problems then only the textile industry can survive in the current scenario.