APTMA to keep mills shut next week in protest

LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has decided to keep all the mills shut next week in protest, as the government is not providing the incentives that were promised to the industrialists.
APTMA Chairman Aamir Fiaz expressed his views in a press conference and said the trade deficit has reached the highest level in country's history due to poor policies of government and continuous increase in production costs.
Gohar Ejaz, Vice Chairman Ali Pervez and APTMA Punjab Chairman Syed Ali Ahsan were also present along with him.
The chairman said that Prime Minister is not fulfilling the promises that were made with the industrialists. He said the volume of export was more than $25 billion in 2013 when the incumbent government took charge, but it has reduced to less than $20 billion.
Aamir Fiaz told that PM Nawaz had promised to pay funds worth Rs180 billion, but Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has allocated only Rs4 billion in the budget for fiscal year 2017-18. He said the industrialists are being asked to increase the exports without giving them the incentives.
Aamir further added that it was made clear in the previous year that the trade deficit would cross $30 billion, but government did nothing expect taking loans that the nation will pay with interest. He said progress cannot be made without increasing exports, and exports cannot be increased just by announcements.
APTMA chairman demanded that government should act upon the policy that it had announced. He said Rs200 billions of export industry has been held by the government, and industry will not run until they are paid. He said Ishaq Dar, like every year, promised to pay the funds, but did not do it.
After the press conference, a protest was raised outside the APTMA House, and slogans were raised to get the demands fulfilled by setting fabric and thread on fire. - NNI