Carpet sector needs government hand-holding

Lahore: Carpet Industry of Pakistan can fetch impressive share in the international market provided it has supportive and energetic policies by the government. Hurdles in transportation of raw materials, unwashed/unfinished carpets, roughs and kilims should be removed immediately as these are hampering the growth of Pakistan’s carpet industry.
These views were expressed by the President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mian Nauman Kabir, Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan and Vice President Haris Ateeq while talking to the delegation of Pakistan Carpets Manufacturers & Exporters Association at the LCCI. LCCI Executive Committee Member Mian Attiq Rehman was leading the delegation while other members were Maj ® Akhtar Nazir, Latif Malik, Ijaz ur Rehman, Usmman Rasheed and Asif Nazir. LCCI Executive Committee Member Ali Afzal and Malik Riaz Iqbal were also present on the occasion.
The LCCI office-bearers said that carpet industry of Pakistan can acquire leading position in the world market by monitoring global marketing trends, innovative product designing and aggressive marketing and the role of the government’s supportive policies is most important in this regard.
“The government should remove hurdles which are hampering the growth of carpet industry, the LCCI office-bearers added.
Head of the delegation and LCCI Executive Committee Member Mian Attiq-ur-Rehman said that high rates of custom duties and transportation expenses are hitting the carpet industry hard. Government should pay attention to these issues.
Maj ® Akhtar Nazir said that export orders of carpet industry have been dropped due to various reasons. He mentioned that Pakistani exporters provide raw material to the Afghan Weavers. They produce carpets and send back to Pakistan. He said that during transportation Pakistani exporters face various hurdles which should be removed.
The delegation members informed the LCCI office-bearers that India and Afghanistan have subsidized their carpet sector but not Pakistan due to which, the exporters of Pakistan are uncompetitive in the international market.
They urged the government to establish an effective banking system with Afghanistan to ensure smooth trade. They said that due to COVID-19, freight and shipping charges have been increased by two to four times. They added that Pakistani carpet exporters are paying USD 10 to 12 per meter on the export of carpets to Europe while Afghan carpet exporters are paying just USD 0.5 per meter on the export to same destination. They said that in this scenario, Pakistani carpet exporters cannot survive. They said that the government should bring down duties, taxes and reduce freight and shipping charges.
They said that the government should reduce duties and taxes on the import of raw materials, unwashed/unfinished carpets, roughs and kilims from Iran and Turkey. They said that Pakistan has state-of-the-art facility of washing and finishing of carpets. They said that if the government declares import of raw materials, unfinished carpets, roughs and kilims from Iran and Turkey duty free, exports of this sector can be doubled within next few years.
The delegation members further stated that the government should establish Small Industrial Zones on the pattern of Turkish model to facilitate the carpet industry. It will help rapid growth of the carpet industry of Pakistan.