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Govt deliberating to revive sick industries: minister

The textile ministry is already deliberating for the revival of sick industries as it will play a major role in enhancing textile exports and harvesting the benefits of GSP Plus, said Abbas Khan Afridi, federal minister for the textile industry.

He was talking to a delegation of textile exporters headed by Engr Suhail Bin Rashid, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), who briefed him about the importance of revival of sick industries in Faisalabad.

The minister said that government was fully aware of the importance of value added sector, ‘it was not only a major foreign exchange earning sector but was also providing huge number of jobs for the unemployed youth.” He asked the FCCI to finalise their study on sick units with viable two or three options so that government and related ministries could approve the most appropriate option. He assured that he would arrange a meeting of textile exporters with the finance minister to specifically discuss and resolve the NPL (non-performing loans) clause that was main hindrance in getting required finance from the banks.

The FCCI president said they had conducted a preliminary study on some of the sick units located in Faisalabad as most of the businessmen were not ready to disclose their financial position despite being in trouble. He said the revival of only local textile units in Faisalabad could help fetch US$ 1 billion foreign exchange in addition to creating about 82,000 jobs. He said these units had spent billions of rupees on their infrastructure and machinery and were in a position to start operation as soon as the running finance was made available. He said a major bottleneck was the prudential regulations of SBP as the banks were not giving loans to these units because of non-performing loans (NPL) clause. He said the issue should be taken up with the finance minister for temporarily suspension of this clause so that these units could get loans from the banks and restart their units.

The FCCI president clarified that these units were known for their professional integrity and they were only victims of circumstances as energy crisis coupled with recession in Europe played a major role in making them sick. He said these sick units had record history of serving Pakistan for years but now they were in crisis and the government must come forward for their rescue.

Earlier the delegation also had a detailed discussion with Mrs Rukhsana Shah, federal secretary textile and also appraised her about the problems of these sick units. She was fully convinced and said that her ministry was already working on this issue as the revival of sick industries was in the best national interest.

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