textile experts say that the industry’s share in the domestic market
has been eroded by free flow of used or worn clothing and rampant
increase in smuggling of ladies fabric along with readymade garments
being brought in the country through personal baggage..The All
Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Punjab) former chairman Akber
Shaikh said that other major textile exporting nations like India and
China are better able to withstand the pressure of reduced exports due
to global recession or any other factor because they have larger shares
in their home markets…He said the only difference between these
two countries and Pakistan is that they have better controls on their
borders that effectively check smuggling of foreign fabric or other
textiles. These countries discourage import of worn clothing…The customs in China and India strictly monitor global rates and do not clear under invoiced goods…Akbar
Shaikh said there is a huge demand for Pak made ladies cotton fabric in
India but its smuggling is checked and its import is subjected to high
duty based on minimum duty payable per kg that makes the fabric costly…On the other hand he added smuggled Indian and Chinese fabric is freely available in all cloth markets of Pakistan…A
study by The News revealed that Pakistan imported 263.371 million kg of
used (or worn) clothing worth Rs7.685 billion in 2008-09. This means
that the per capita used clothing consumption in Pakistan is 1.62 kg…The
Indians on the other hand imported only 43.640, which translate into
per capita consumption of worn clothing in India to only 0.03 kg…Another
point worth noting is that the imports of worn clothing are rapidly
rising in Pakistan, which stood at 174.592 million kg in 2007-08 and
the per capita worn cloth consumption in the country was 1.07 kg. The
quantum of smuggling can not be evaluated…However a visit to any
market in Pakistan would reveal that most of the blended ladies fabrics
in Pakistan are smuggled in to the country. Ladies usually prefer
blended fabrics…The children garments also find their way in
large quantity through personal baggage. Ladies constitute 50 per cent
of our population…Assuming that the smuggled quantity is
equivalent to that of worn clothing then smuggled ladies fabrics also
account for 1.62 per capita consumption of fibre…Children garments and other textile imports account for another 0.5 kg per capita consumption of fibre…It
was also found that the local textile industry produced 3,040,910 ton
of fibre in 2008-09 out of which 20 per cent or 615,314 ton was
consumed in the domestic market and the rest was exported. This is
equivalent 615.314 million kg or per capita consumption of 3.62 kg…The
cumulative use of foreign processed fibre in Pakistan is 3.74 kg per
capita (1.62 kg worn clothing 1.62 kg ladies blended smuggled fabric
and 0.5 kg children wear). This is a little higher than the per capita
consumption of the locally processed fabric in the country…This
means that the consumption of local fabric could be doubled if the
influx of foreign processed fibers is effectively checked..