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News Clips 27 November, 2014

[ Prgmea seeks level-playing field for textile sector ]
[ Textile sector: NGO offers 1.7 million euro project to improve social standards ]

Prgmea seeks level-playing field for textile sector   [ top ]

The News, November 27, 2014
LAHORE: The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (Prgmea) has sought level-playing field for the value-added textile industry of Punjab, a statement said on Wednesday.

Prgmea Central Chairman Ijaz Khokhar said the country has exported textile made goods worth $4.6 billion during July-October 2014/15 against $4.7 billion in the same period of the previous year, showing a drop of 1.54 percent.

“Punjab industry is trying to cope with the growing cost of production because of gas shortage, high electricity tariff and stuck-up sales tax refunds,” he said.

“The government should provide level-playing field by raising gas and power supply to the industry to help exporters cut their energy costs and release billions of rupees stuck up in sales tax refunds,” he said.

Khokhar said due to gas shortage, the mills cannot process fabric on time and the sewing units simply cannot guarantee on time deliveries of export shipments. “With this productivity level, we cannot compete with Bangladesh let alone India or China.”

Prgmea North Zone Senior Vice Chairman Malik Naseer said poor law and order situation in the country; followed by lingering energy shortages, which has virtually crippled the industry, are the prime reasons for decline in textile exports.

Besides, negative perceptions about Pakistan and high financial costs are adding fuel to the fire, he said. 

Textile sector: NGO offers 1.7 million euro project to improve social standards   [ top ]

Business Recorder, November 27, 2014
The GIZ, a German-based international NGO has offered a project with the cost of around Euro 1.7 million for supporting social standards in the Textile & Garment Industry in Punjab, duly funded by German Federal Foreign Office, Berlin. This was disclosed by Punjab Minister Labour & Human Resource, Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, while addressing the concluding session of a workshop on Implementation of Social Standards Support Program to the textile and garment industries in Punjab held here on Wednesday. 

The Minister said that this project has been developed in the context of GSP plus status granted to Pakistan for support in the implementation and ensuring greater compliance with the International Labour Standards in the Textile & Garment Industry. Duration of the project is two years, he maintained. 

The Labour & Human Resource Department, Punjab will be an implementing partner in this project and will work in close collaboration with the concerned stakeholders including ILO Office to achieve targets of the project, he added.

The project aims to bring about change in three areas of intervention ie improving working conditions through pilot projects at various levels that have been identified together with partners, developing appropriate platforms for dialogue and suitable structures for co-operation that promote regular information and knowledge sharing and facilitate co-operation between government, employers and workers along with providing reliable data on the pilot measures at factory level, which are required to convince employers, he further informed. 

The project partners of this venture will be Labour & Human Resource Department, Government of the Punjab, Ministry of Textile, Government of Pakistan, Trade Development Authority, SMEDA, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, ILO, PRGMEA and APTMA. Jirgen Herinrich Schilling, Country Director GIZ Pakistan and Farhan Aziz Khawaja, Secretary Labour & Human Resource, gave the opening speeches at the workshop. Presentation of the project on the background and purpose of workshop were given by Principal Advisor GIZ, Ms Romina Kochlus while discussion, feedback and comments from the participating sites were discussed along with clarification of roles and responsibilities of the participating sites for the realisation and steering of the project approach was made.