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PRGMEA seeks end to confusion about over-shipments to EU

LAHORE (March 06 2003) : Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) chief Pervez Hanif has urged Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan to take notice of confusion on the part of Quota Management Directorate regarding the over-shipments to European Union during 2001-02.

In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Pervez pointed out that Prgmea has received a good number of communications from Quota Management Directorate of Export Promotion Bureau since last week of January, which are contradicting each other.

In a couple of communications even Ministry of Commerce has also issued contradicting directions, causing great distress among the garments exporters, he said.

According to him, the latest directions from the Textile Quota Management to EPB offices in Karachi, Lahore and Sialkot to ask the exporters for a clarification from their EU buyers whether they have presented visas to the EU Custom authorities or not during 2001-02 has panicked the exporters.

It is quite difficult for the garments' exporters to enquire from their buyers about the presentation of visa documents for such shipments that have not only been cleared by the EU Customs' officials already, but the buyers have also paid outstanding amounts, he said and added that such exercise would annoy the buyers which might lead to loss of future orders.

According to him, the EPB Sialkot office added fuel to the fire by refusing the issuance of visas to the exporters due to their failure to submit required information.

The officer concerned in Sialkot has even refused to listen to the exporters in this respect and rumours are high that EPB Lahore office would also start such exercise soon, he said.

Pervez said that the issuance of such a directions was highly deplorable, as it has created panic among the exporters besides a negative impression about the government that it has failed to facilitate the exporters.

He urged the Commerce Minister to take up the issue immediately and direct the concerned agencies and officials to stop threatening the exporters and instead ensure a smooth flow of garments' exports.

The export target could be affected severely if the Commerce Minister failed to intervene and redress the situation accordingly, he added.

He hoped that the Prgmea's request would be taken seriously and the Ministry would stop slumbering over the problems faced by the exporters' community.

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