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Friday April 12, 2024

Trade bodies seek proposals to enhance exports

LAHORE: After realizing that there was something wrong in its policies that have kept the exports stagnant during the past two years, the government has sought proposals from trade bodies for all sectors to enhance exports. The government seems to have realized that all matters concerning exports should be resolved

By Mansoor Ahmad
July 21, 2015
LAHORE: After realizing that there was something wrong in its policies that have kept the exports stagnant during the past two years, the government has sought proposals from trade bodies for all sectors to enhance exports.
The government seems to have realized that all matters concerning exports should be resolved by the commerce ministry sparing the exporters from pleading their cases with the finance ministry, water ministry, petroleum ministry and power ministry.
For that reason, the commerce minister met trade bodies including All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) and other high officials of the commerce ministry including Chairman Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).
Chairman APTMA S M Tanveer said, “We have been running from pillar to post to resolve our refund issues, zero taxation on exports, power and energy woes and various facilitations provided to the exporters by competing regional economies.”
Since all the ministries are operating independent of each other and have their own priorities the view of exporters though appreciated has never been materialized to remove handicapped.
All exporters now realize that the commerce ministry should provide a viable package to the exporters by taking up all matters concerning exports with relevant ministers directly, he said.
There is now realization at the top that if the exporter problems remain unaddressed, it may jeopardize the livelihood of millions of workers, Tanveer said.
“In the meeting, it was decided that trade associations would come up with a revival plan for exports and submit it to the commerce minister,” he said, “The minster after full deliberation on the plan would persuade all other relevant ministries to do the needful.”
Exporters are not asking for any concessions from the government but simply the desire that the exports are zero rated, the exporting industries are assured 24/7 energy and power supply and government refunds generated during production are timely refunded.
“Disruptive technologies are already playing havoc in various fields around the world,” he said, adding that exporters operating on sharp margins due to global competition are not in a position to bear the government inefficiencies and bureaucratic delays. In exports, procedures should move seamlessly from procurement, production to zero rated exports.
The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, after meeting the minister, gave a seven point plan to revamp exports. In its letter dated July 15 2015, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association asked the minister to ensure that the exports are zero rated. It provided details of various taxes, duties, surcharges, levies and cess that an exporter has to pay during production process, which are not refunded. It asked a refund of five percent on exports of yarn, fabric and garments.
The second recommendation was that long term finance facility available to value added textile sector should also be extended to spinning and ginning as these two sectors badly need upgrade of technology.
Thirdly, it asked the government to provide export finance facility to entire value chain of textiles including spinning and weaving sectors.
The fourth recommendation of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association was to provide five percent export incentive to capture non-traditional markets through focus market and focus product schemes.
The fifth recommendation relates to very high power tariff imposed on the industry to cover inefficiencies of discos.
The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association has asked for OGRA recommended tariff of Rs9.5 per units instead of Rs14 per unit levied through surcharges and levies to cover loses of power distribution companies.
The letter points out that the entire industry is on independent feeders where the line loss and theft are almost zero.
The sixth suggestion was to revise yarn export from Pakistan to China at zero duty, as China levies 3.5 percent duty on import of yarn from both India – which has signed no Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China - and Pakistan – which has signed a FTA. The seventh recommendation was related to strengthening domestic commerce.
It called for plugging all loopholes and malpractices that promote informal trade and result in dumping of foreign textiles in the country.