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September 5, 2015

Call for strategy to increase exports

Lahore

 
September 5, 2015

LAHORE
Continues slide of exports has been creating problems for the economy and the government should evolve a comprehensive strategy in consultation with the private sector to increase exports.
These views were expressed by experts in the Jang Economic Session on ‘reasons of decline in exports’. The panelists were Hameed Akther Chadah, Javeed Kiyani, Almas Haider, Hamid Malhi, Shahid Mazhar and Rifat Malik and it was hosted by Sikindar Lodhi.
Hameed Akther Chadah said that the energy crisis and lack of government planning had adversely affected exports of the country. He said, ‘‘Rs 180 billion refunds are due with FBR and if they are returned, substantial increase in exports is possible.’’ He called for withdrawal of the service tax, terming it a burden on the exporting sector and suggested Zia regime-type rebates and incentives directly through State Bank of Pakistan.
Javeed Kiyani said the decline in exports was the main reason of increase in economic woes and unfortunately Pakistan lacked planning to handle it. He said the government should make a comprehensive plan with the consultation of the private sector to increase exports. He said textile, sugar and agriculture sectors needed government support to make their place in international market but it was not in its priorities. He called for reforms in all sectors to increase productivity. He said Pakistan’s currency should not be protected artificially, rather infrastructure should be provided to the industry. Almas Haider said an comprehensive and effective system was required to increase agriculture exports, which was being largely wasted. He said the taxation system was based on injustice and not friendly to exports. He said productivity enhancement in accordance with the global demand could help increase exports. ‘‘Only textile sector exports should not be focused, look into other sectors including sports, engineering healthcare and other products.’’ He said the

business community's advice and consultation was crucial at every stage.
Hamid Malhi said that exports were stagnant while many countries were ahead of Pakistan. He said Pakistan had surplus wheat, rice and sugar but there was need to make a policy to fix a certain quantity for exports every year so that the private sector develops its positions in international market. He said effective accountability was required to improve institutional governance.
Shahid Mazhar said that reforms in the system were exposed with the stagnant economic growth and exports which should be accepted by the government. He said the textile sector had a vital role in exports but was disturbed due to high cost of production, national holidays, unavailability of gas and electricity which had depleted the quality and exports of the sector. Rifat Malik said that economic policies should not be linked to political gains. She said long-term economic policies were required which should not be derailed with a change of government.