A meeting of textile entrepreneurs from different sectors, on Monday, pointed out that although the economies of India, Bangladesh and China had been performing well for the past six years; yet their governments had facilitated their textile sectors by providing different incentives for the up-gradation of technology, including tax incentives and concessional mark up on investment..“The Pakistani government in April 2010, after an urgent plea from the textile industry, did announce that they would support investment for upgrading textile machinery by picking upto 5 percent of the bank mark-up on textile machinery loans” stated Gohar Ejaz former chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association. “However, the measure announced under SRO N0.3 (18) TID/10-P-1 by the Ministry of Textiles was not implemented,” he regretfully added.He said that when interest rates were low and there were no power shortages, Pakistan according to the data of the International Textile Machinery Federation, had imported over one million spindles in 2005. He said that China had imported 7.1 million spindles, India 1.4 million spindles and Bangladesh 0.54 million spindles in the same year. He continued that in 2006, 6.7 million spindles were added by China, 2.8 million by India, 0.67million by Pakistan and 0.43 million by Bangladesh. And he revealed that Pakistan in 2007 did not add a single spindle while China, India and Bangladesh added 6 million, 3.74 million and 0.6 million spindles. He further reported that Pakistan had stopped appearing on the ITMF map in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, while China, India, Bangladesh continued to invest in the spinning industry while Turkey and Indonesia emerged as new investors in this field..Chairman APTMA Punjab Ahsan Bashir lamented that power shortages, high inflation and high interest rates had played havoc with textile sector growth. He added that all the textile sectors in Pakistan were operating much below their installed capacities. “They have got orders in hand and the capacity to produce, but energy and power shortages have forced them to operate on the basis of whatever energy and power is available to them..He revealed that the weaving sector was once considered the most vibrant export sector of Pakistan but was now operating at 60 percent capacity. He continued that according to the ITMF data, Pakistan was importing shuttleless looms from 2005 to 2007, though in much less quantity than China, India or Bangladesh. “The imports have completely dried up in the last four years” he said, adding that the 2011 machinery import data of the ITMF reveals that non-cotton producing countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia and Turkey were fast catching up with Pakistan in the weaving capacity Leading knitwear exporter M I Khurram mourned that with 40 percent of the circular and flat knitting machines idle, entrepreneurs were fighting for survival. “They are in no position to add new machines,” he observed. He also noted that while the apparel sector consumed much less power than spinning and weaving, it bore the same brunt of load shedding as that faced by the large scale textile industries. He regretted that the planners did not realize that the labor-intensive apparel sector is the largest provider of industrial employment in the country.“Pakistan was losing its technological advantage to regional competitors now rapidly investing in high-tech electronic flat knitting machinery,” Khurram revealed, with China adding 54800 electronic flat knitting machines in 2011, Bangladesh 4475, Hong Kong 2930, Turkey 2150, and Italy 1120. According to the ITMF, he added, growth in sales of electronic flat knitting machines was 37 percent in 2011 but Pakistan’s share in sales was zero..