LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan was briefed on the state of the textile industry on Thursday by All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) chairman Aamir Fayyaz. Textile industry policy framework also came under discussion during the meeting. PTI chairman Imran Khan assured the APTMA leadership that his party had incorporated most of their in its economic policy documents. He said the PTI would remove Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) and ensure parity in energy prices across the country to make the textile industry competitive. Aamir Fayyaz said the APTMA leadership had decided to share its vision with the political leadership of all political parties ahead of the general elections. Accordingly, he said, the APTMA management had extended invitation to all political parties and Imran Khan was first among them to attend the briefing. Khan was accompanied by Asad Umar, Sheikh Rashid, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Mohsin Aziz. Several APTMA members including group leader Gohar Ejaz were present on the occasion. Discussing the APTMA’s policy framework, the APTMA chairman said the industry was seeking an enabling environment for setting up 1,000 garments factories with the aim to promote exports of value-added textile products. He stressed the need for extending the duty drawback scheme for five years, besides demanding an increase of drawbacks by a percent for garments (up to 12 percent) and made-ups (up to 10 percent) payment against realisation of export proceeds every year. He demanded that the government should provide RLNG/natural gas (inclusive of GIDC) at Rs.600/MMBTU to the Industry across the country. Also, he said, the government should withdraw surcharges (Rs. 3.50/kWh) to bring electricity tariff at par with region @ Rs. 7/KWh. He said foreign brands should be encouraged to establish buying houses at commercial enclaves in major cities where rent-free space should be provided, if the brand/buying house fetches a minimum of $100 million per annum exports. The availability of rent free space should be extended for another two years, he added. He has sought provision of Rs.100,000 per annum per worker for skill development for the workforce under skill development programme. The APTMA chairman has also sought LTFF to indirect exports, Islamic mode of financing and building of infrastructure for garment plants. Published in Daily Times, February 9th2018.