ISLAMABAD, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Pakistan's government on Tuesday announced a raft of tax cuts and incentives aimed at reviving the struggling textiles industry, state-run media said.
Textiles make up more than half of Pakistan's exports, but it has lost ground to South Asian neighbours in recent years, hurt by chronic energy shortages and underinvestment in machinery.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a package of incentives worth 180 billion rupees ($1.72 billion) after a meeting with top exporters, state-run Radio Pakistan said.
It quoted Finance Minister Ishaq Dar as saying the customs duty and sales tax on import of cotton had been abolished, with a sales tax on imports of textile machinery scrapped.
Falling exports have become a major concern for the government at a time when remittances from abroad are also falling, potentially putting pressure on the currency.
Improved security across Pakistan is also more likely to attract foreign customers and investors to the textiles industry, officials say. ($1=104.7500 Pakistani rupees) (Reporting by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)