By M Furqan Khan, TS4A
While I was roaming around orkut, I saw a poll at a community. The poll was â€œfuture of textile industry is bright in Pakistan! do u agree? I want to click on yes but I didnâ€™t find any strong reason to click â€œyesâ€. 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 blahâ€¦..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 donâ€™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, Pakistanâ€™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 wasnâ€™t prepared for this and therefore lost number of buyers consisting a considering number of European buyers.
Secondly, the political situation of our country isnâ€™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 couldnâ€™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 canâ€™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?