Cabinet out-rightly rejected the demand of the Textile Ministry

Share in EDF: Ministry's demand rejected

GMT 21:29 2015 Monday ,09 March

Sriyadithatextile - Share in EDF: Ministry's demand rejected

Textile Development Fund (TDF)
TAHIR AMIN

The committee constituted by the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet out-rightly rejected the demand of the Textile Ministry to give it its due share in the Export Development Fund (EDF), it is learnt. The Commerce Ministry has yet again succeeded in keeping control over the utilisation of billions of rupees in the EDF, sources said.

Official sources revealed to Business Recorder that the Committee met with Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal in the chair to resolve the outstanding issue between Commerce and Textile ministries over ownership and utilisation of the EDF. Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi and Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan participated in the meeting as members. The Committee agreed with the proposal of inclusion of the Textile Ministry in the EDF board. The Textile Minister will henceforth replace the Commerce Secretary as Vice Chairman of the Board and the Textile Secretary will be added to the Board as member. The Commerce Ministry would prepare draft amendments in the EDF Act 1999 for this purpose and after passing from different forums it would be tabled in parliament. However sources said that there was no timeline for finalising these amendments and may take a long time.

The EDF Board is currently headed by the Commerce Minister and according to the EDF Act 1999, the Textile Ministry is not a member of the Board and attends Board meetings on the Commerce Ministry's invitation. The EDF Board currently comprises the Commerce Minister (Chairman), the Commerce Secretary (Vice Chairman-I), the CEO of TDAP (Vice Chairman-II), the Joint Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP Representative), The Finance Secretary (Representative), the Secretary of Industries (Representative), member of parliament (One MNA Representative) and three representatives from the private sector.

The Textile Ministry had sought its due share in the EDF in the textile policy (2014-19), however after the resistance from the Commerce Ministry the ECC dropped the proposal from final policy and constituted a committee to resolve the issue in one month. The federal government collects 0.25 percent as EDF on almost 85 percent exports and deposits it in the accounts of the Finance Ministry - a fund utilised for the development of export-oriented sectors. The contribution of the textile sector in the EDF is 55 percent. The collection of the EDF remained at around Rs 6.1 billion in the last financial year, where the textile sector contributed Rs 3.25 billion and non-textile sector Rs 2.75 billion. However, the Finance Ministry has released about Rs 1 billion to the Commerce Ministry and it also released about Rs 100 million to the Textile Ministry, official sources revealed.

The committee urged the Textile Ministry to participate in EDF Board meetings and take its due share on merit against its projects from the fund. However, it straightaway rejected the proposal of dividing the fund into Textile Development Fund (TDF) for the use of the Ministry of Textile industry and EDF (non-textiles) for the Ministry of Commerce. The committee observed that after a division in the fund every sector would demand its share in the EDF.

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