LAHORE: The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has asked the government to declare an export emergency in the federal budget for 2018-19, which is under discussion in the National Assembly, as there is no other shortcut to control the ballooning trade deficit.
In a statement, PRGMEA Senior Vice Chairman Sheikh Luqman Amin termed the federal budget very disappointing and political aimed at attracting voters as no incentive was announced for the export industry.
He said the budget had disappointed the value-added textile industry because of failure of the government to announce implementation of the industry proposals.
Industrialists had demanded extension in the prime minister’s incentive package for another two years. Moreover, PRGMEA had sought a clear roadmap for the release of tax refunds within weeks not in months or years in view of the liquidity crunch faced by the industry. Amin appealed to the finance ministry to release the refund claims without further delay as more than 30% of cash flow had been blocked since long in the shape of sales tax refund and customs rebate, which was adversely affecting the cash liquidity.
“The ministry has not yet released bulk of the Rs180-billion PM’s package from January 2017,” he said, adding the government should take steps for the removal of hurdles in the way of textile exports. Moreover, he pointed out, in this situation of financial crunch, the textile value-added products could not fetch high prices due to poor packaging.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2018.