Representatives of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Trade and Development Authority (TDAP) officials will be meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on September 11, to discuss reasons behind the country’s falling exports and issues related to the business community.
FPCCI and TDAP officials will also meet the commerce and finance ministers a day prior to the meeting to hammer out the future line of action to be discussed with the PM.
The business community would also seek certain incentives for the promotion of exports and discuss the proposed trade policy framework with the PM, who has yet to approve the draft.
The key challenges to be discussed would constitute export refunds with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), high gas surcharge, power shortage with increasing power tariff to the industry, water shortage in Karachi and the complicated system of taxes. According to the businessmen, these factors have pushed the prices of exports to an all-time-high and have resulted in a steep decline in demand of Pakistani goods in the global market.
“Our main issues are export refunds worth more than Rs140 billion pending against the FBR, gas surcharges and tariff rates,” said FPCCI Senior Leader Malik Sohail, while talking to The Express Tribune.
“You cannot expect much from the business community without giving them the required incentives to compete in international markets”, he added.
The trade bodies’ representatives will also discuss the issue pertaining to the 0.3% withholding tax with the PM, in order to come up with a mutually acceptable solution.
In a recent meeting of the Senate Standing Committee, TDAP Chairman S M Muneer, in addition to other incentives, sought devaluation of Pakistani rupee by 10% for increasing exports.
Furthermore, the FPCCI Standing Committee on Horticulture Chairman Ahmad Jawad also informed that his committee would prepare recommendations for the promotion of horticulture exports to be shared with the PM. “The horticulture sector in Pakistan has significant potential for increasing exports, but there is no special export policy on the horticulture sector to tap that potential,” he said.
He said at present, Pakistan’s share in the world horticulture exports was a mere 0.3%. “In the country’s total exports, the horticulture share is only worth $400 million which could be increased to more than $1 billion, if required incentives are given,” he noted.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2015.
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