FAISALABAD: The regulatory duty on polyester and cotton yarn must be withdrawn in the upcoming mini-budget to strengthen the domestic manufacturing units, urged Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain.
Recalling the visit of Finance Minister Asad Umar to Faisalabad on October 4, 2018, Hussain pointed out that the minister had assured him of numerous corrective measures, which would be undertaken gradually, in order to step up dwindling exports of the country.
Appreciating the measures introduced by the government, the FCCI president welcomed the restoration of advance payment facility and provision of gas at 6.5 cents per million British thermal units (mmbtu) and electricity at 7.5 cents per unit.
He expressed optimism that as per the government’s pledge, the issue of outstanding tax refund claims, amounting to Rs250 billion, would be resolved by February 15.
“All these efforts have yielded positive results with exports rising 2% and imports narrowing down,” he said. “Similarly, foreign remittances also recorded a growth of 10%.” He suggested to the government to divert its focus towards the domestic manufacturing sector, which was directly linked with job creation besides heavy contribution to the overall economic development.
Hussain lamented that cotton production had dropped by 400,000 bales. To make up for the shortfall, the government has withdrawn the duty on cotton import. “However, the duty on cotton yarn and polyester still haunts the manufacturers including the power looms.”
He noted that businessmen had been assured of swift resolution of the issues confronted by the manufacturing sector. However, he regretted, a powerful mafia was hatching a conspiracy to get regulatory duty imposed for vested interests in order to sell locally made polyester yarn at higher rates.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2019.