Govt to provide relief to export industry in budget
Federal Commerce Secretary Muhammad Younus Dagha has said that though there is a challenging situation in exports but government is committed to provide relief to the export-oriented industry to detain the declining trend.
He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The LCCI President Abdul Basit, Senior Vice President Amjad Ai Jawa and Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan spoke on the occasion while former Presidents Mian Muzaffar Ali, Engineer Sohail Lashari, former Vice President Aftab Ahmad Vohra, Awais Saeed Piracha, Syed Mukhtar Ali and Tariq Mahmood were also present on the occasion.
Secretary Commerce pledged to promote consultation with the private sector to make policies more effective saying that policies formed in isolation cannot give desired results. He said that government wants to give same incentives to the export-oriented industry as being given by the competitors. He said that all indicators are good apart from exports. He said that foreign exchange reserves are at record level, markup and inflation are at the lowest while there is zero load shedding for the industry.
He said that Strategic Policy Framework 2015-18 is being improved as it has not given the expected results. He said that lack of research and development in agriculture sector is a major bottleneck to growth. Private sector should joint hands with the government in this regard. He said that joint ventures and collaborations in food sector can help exploit its huge potential. He said that duties and taxes have been reduced on raw materials being used in export-oriented industries and more relief would be given in the coming federal budget.
The LCCI President Abdul Basit called to manage factors that are hindering the economic growth of the country. He said that Pakistan’s exports fallen to $ 21.9 in 2016 from $ 24.1 billion in 2015. He said that 5% declined has been registered in the exports of manufacturing sector including carpet, sports goods and surgical instruments. It is a matter of concern that exports with 89 countries have shown the trend of negative growth because these countries have started imports from other countries. He said that cost of doing business and energy cost is high as compared to the other regional countries. He said that all these factors are destroying the comparative advantage of the countries.
Abdul Basit called for value addition and promotion of light engineering to get greatest advantage from the global market. He said that government should establish industrial and technological parks. He said that all export-oriented sectors should be given duty drawback as being given in India. He said that duties and taxes on the inputs of exports must be at the lowest while food sector should be given zero rated facility. He also called for market and product diversification.
The LCCI President said that Pakistan cannot reap the benefit of GSP Plus Status. He said that pharmaceutical sector is also facing huge troubles in connection with the bulk export.
He also drew the attention of Federal Secretary Commerce towards Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) saying that partner countries are getting more benefits than Pakistan. He said that private sector must be taken on board before signing FTAs and PTAs.