Pakistan is working on a new textile policy which will certainly help the country maintain the current tempo of growth, said federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar.

Speaking at a meeting with business community at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Friday, he pointed out that the textile boom, being witnessed in Faisalabad, clearly indicated that the city was the main beneficiary of current government’s policies.

He dismissed the allegation that the previous textile policy was not implemented in true letter and spirit and added that its positive results were reflected in the textile boom.

“Now the government is focusing on a new textile policy, which is aimed at stabilising the gains of present policy,” he said.

Talking about his meeting with Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) officials earlier in the day, he said it centered on issues hampering work in the Allama Iqbal Industrial Estate.

Umar underlined that the government was focusing on strengthening the manufacturing sector with Chinese cooperation in the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Responding to a question about targeted subsidy, he was of the view that the initiative would benefit the textile sector immensely.

Umar requested FCCI President Hafiz Ihtasham Javed to prepare a comprehensive report on the problems faced by the business community along with their solutions so that they could be incorporated into the budget for next fiscal year.

Speaking on the occasion, Javed said that if electricity and gas subsidies were withdrawn, the industrialists would lose their competitive edge in the international market.

“Our textile exports are increasing every month due to encouraging government policies coupled with the hard work of textile sector stakeholders,” he said.

“However, over the past two months, the shortage and hike in prices of cotton and yarn have disturbed the entire textile chain.”

He urged the government to take immediate remedial steps or else Pakistan would lose its hard-earned foreign markets.

FBR’s meeting Separately, officials of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) held an open court at the FCCI on Friday.

On the occasion, Regional Tax Office (RTO) Faisalabad Chief Commissioner Karamatullah Chaudhry said maximum facilities were being given to the taxpayers.

He added that during the ongoing month of February, tax refunds amounting to Rs3 billion had been disbursed against collection of Rs2 billion under the head.

“Government is trying its best to facilitate taxpayers through a transparent system,” he said.

“In this connection, discretionary powers of tax collectors have been trimmed to the minimum.”

Talking about delay in release of refund claims, he said that the FBR had issued instructions to clear fresh cases on priority and gradually process pending cases in a phased manner.

Speaking about the issuance of notices without barcodes, he said that notices issued under Clause 176 had not been digitised yet, hence the condition of barcode was not applicable to them.

“Taxpayers have to bear with us until we achieve full digitalisation of the system,” he said.

Pointing out that notices were being dispatched through e-mail and Urgent Mail System (UMS), the official said the FBR was promoting a paperless environment and urged taxpayers to update addresses in their tax profiles.

Due to wrong addresses, a sizable number of notices had remained undelivered, the official said.