Two-third Emptied Glass

By M Furqan Khan, TS4A
While I was roaming around orkut, I saw a poll at a community. The poll was “future of textile industry is bright in Pakistan! do u agree? I want to click on yes but I didn’t find any strong reason to click “yes”. This yes or no opened the knots of my mind and I have been compelled to think and write about this drowning industry. Unfortunately I am one of those guys who believe in the philosophy of half emptied glass but here conditions are worst! even the glass is two third empty.

As we all know, Textile industry serves as a backbone in the economy of Pakistan. It consists of the greatest job sector accommodating about 43% labor and blah blah blah…..but the question is that what we have done for this sector so far? Last year textile sector earned 52.5% of foreign exchange which in the past was touching 70%. I don’t know what the exact reason was for this great decline but there may be number of reasons which I have discussed.

Firstly, after the implementation of WTO, Pakistan’s quota for textile has been ended up and therefore price and quality are the two ultimate factors to compete in international market. Sadly Pakistan wasn’t prepared for this and therefore lost number of buyers consisting a considering number of European buyers.

Secondly, the political situation of our country isn’t stable. We have been in crisis from the last years. We have been facing problems like fighting the proxy war for USA, judiciary crisis, terrorism, power clash among politicians and military rulers, shortage of water and power break downs of electricity. All are inter-related to each other and that resulted in the political instability of our country.

Thirdly, the measures taken by the new government like increase in oil, water, gas and electricity prices just brought a loss in many European orders. Thirty one percent increased in gas prices simply convert the profit into loss because the sales contract has been signed 6 months before and if the government increases utilities cost to such a high extent then it will simply convert the profit into loss and more like to result in the shut down of our textile sector.

In conclusion, Pakistan’s textile industry couldn’t grow by announcing R&D subsidies or by just announcing the great projects like textile city projects and then laying that down in the form of files just like a dead body in a graveyard. Subsidies are not the cure for the disease. It is just like a pain killer but it can’t cure the disease. What we need is the cure for the ailing industry. We need real steps to be taken up like providing the utilities such as gas, water and electricity at the cheapest prices to compete with huge giants (China, India and Bangladesh) at the international arena. At last but not the least what you people think; what could be done for the betterment of this industry?

6 Replies to “Two-third Emptied Glass”

  1. Furqan, you cannot deny the importance of R & D. Not only the textile, all the industries of Pakistan are in a decline because of the reasons you mentioned…very true:-)

    It is easy to fix a path but it is very difficult to go through it. It is not easy to bring down gas and oil prices! It is not easy to control this ever increasing terorism…all these problems are the matter of decades..

    But, on our part, we can try our best. We are the textile professionals and yes we can handle this situation. Blaming only the government is not the real solution. Idea implementation is a separate industry and it needs to be improved. Industrialists should also look towards their expenses and profits before blaming the government for each and every mishap…

  2. Well thought out.

    Ultimately companies need to effectively respond to competitive challenges including the rising raw material and input costs. Providing utilities at cheaper prices are the same as providing subsidies (such as in the form of the so-called R&D subsidy). Ultimately utilities should be provided at fair values and not below cost. For the short term it is rather the reliability of the supply of the inputs that adds to the industry’s problems.

  3. well abid! you are more conscious than me. partly i agree with you..but if we compare the utility cost of our competitors with our textile industry utilities cost it will be 50-60 percent higher….

    and at rameez…”ideas are noting without execution” so who is going to execute our ideas, off course the government and if you give your ideas in the form of textile city projects and the govt. isnt executing it then for sure govt must be blamed….take it as a positive criticism.

  4. well i was recently in discussion with a mill owner. he told me that its not just the prices of electricity thats causing a problem. loadshedding is a bigger issue. he was of the view that he could still compete internationally if there was no power breakdowns, because of which he had to buy generators thus increasing the cost

  5. I believe that even the R&D subsidies is a favor on the part of the government, it should actually be seen as compensation by our rulers for not being able to make this country more customer friendly. If only we can have people come here and ensure their peace of mind in placing orders in Pakistan, i think we can compete with India and China (given the change in lifestyles and growing economies, textiles will no longer be their primary industry) and do away with the R&D as well.

    Industrialists should also rise to the challenges facing them rather placing an ad in Dawn every now and then pleading for subsidies. Its not that they are completely crippled, its just that they are not earning as much as they used to, its like having to drive a Civic rather than a Lexus. If there is quality and delivery, there are customers willig to pay the extra cents as well.

  6. well thoughts Adil! i completely agree with you…specially ur lucid example of civic..
    well u tell, how abt the jobbers…? i guess eventually they wd have mehran or cd70…

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