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Imports under SRO 410: PRGMEA resents bank guarantee condition

KARACHI (July 05 2004): The Central Board of Revenue has laid down a new condition in revised SRO 410 allowing duty-free accessories imports, directing exporters to furnish bank guarantee equal to the amount of full duty at the time of clearance.

Earlier, exporters were required to submit a post-dated cheque.

This was stated by Tahir Aziz, Chairman, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (Prgmea).

He said that a number of shipments imported under SRO 410 were held up at Karachi Port because the Collectorate of Customs Export had not received the SRO from CBR till 1 pm on Saturday.

The Prgmea chief objected to the new condition of submitting bank guarantee under SRO 410 and said that this would unnecessarily block exporters' money for a year and would add to their liquidity problem already being faced due to delay in payment of sales tax refund.

He said that for CBR, acceptance of a bank guaranteed or a post-dated cheque from exporters would not make any difference but would cost a lot to the exporters. The post-dated cheque submitted earlier used to accompany indemnity bond, which ensures payment on demand.

The new string attached to the users of SRO 410 negates the Finance Minister's assertion that the measures taken in the new budget would lessen the cost of doing business in Pakistan, he said.

Tahir took strong exception to the attitude of the ministries and government departments which hold long meetings with exporters seeking their views on budgetary measures but decide things arbitrarily contrary to the views given by the private sector.

Citing example he said that to stop the misuse of SRO 410, especially by fabrics exporters, Prgmea had suggested that duty-free imports up to 20 percent of FOB value of a consignment may be allowed under SRO 410.

The suggestion was completely ignored and, instead, a new harmful condition was attached to SRO 410.

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