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June 16, 2015

‘Govt to extend incentives on exports’

Business

 
June 16, 2015

LAHORE: Federal Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that after two years of consolidation, the government is now in a position to facilitate the exporting sectors through incentives, market access, and a viable long term policy.
He was addressing the members of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTAMA) at its office on Monday. Chairman APTMA SM Tanveer apprised the minister of the precarious position of the industry, which was operating much below its capacity because of lack of global orders. He cited high cost of doing business in Pakistan as the main reason for this decline.
Group leader APTMA Gohar Ejaz informed the commerce minister of the facilitations offered to the textile exporters by competing economies. These facilitations coupled with about 15 percent non-refundable duties that exporters are forced to pay on “zero rated” exports he added, have systematically routed our products from global markets. He said competitors; particularly the Indians have much better market access and facilitations than Pakistan.
Dastagir acknowledged that the industry is in dire states also because of delayed refunds and many policy flaws. He said that the government would from now on regularly engage with the textile sector. He promised a regular monthly meeting with the textile millers. The progress made on issues discussed in the earlier meetings would be scrutinised, he added. He said government is negotiating free trade agreements with Turkey, Thailand, and Korea. He said the FTA with China is being renegotiated. He claimed that the present government would ensure that all FTAs are in the interest of Pakistani businesses.
He admitted that the cumbersome issues of the businessmen need right actions from different ministries including commerce, finance, water and power, and petroleum. He said the prime minister would soon form a business advisory council comprising leading figures from different sectors. He said the prime minister would

meet this advisory council every quarter along with his team of concerned ministers and bureaucrats. He also promised that after interacting with different agencies and local governments, he would ensure that exports were genuinely zero rated.
The commerce minister said government is forming sectoral export development councils comprising bureaucrats and the private sector. He said services sector export development council has already been formed and others would follow soon.