Sales Tax refund within 15 days will help exceed $12.1 billion export target

KARACHI (July 22 2003) : The export target of 12.1 billion dollars can exceed provided the sales tax refund is paid within 15 days from the date of filing of returns.

This was observed by the former chief of Pakistan Cloth Merchants' Association (PCMA), Ghulam Ahmed Ismail.

In a press statement here on Monday, he said that because of the delays in refunds of sales tax and using the exporters' money for six-seven months by the government had proved negative for encouraging the exports.

The former PCMA chief regretted that the Commerce Minister made no announcement about the Duty and Tax Remission Rules for Export (DTRE), though a fortnight back he had announced that the DTRE scheme would be simplified and made easy.

Similarly, he said that because of the import of capital machinery, it was unlikely that the exports would exceed and might touch 13.5 billion dollars.

“The export policy is beneficial in respect of allowing import of used and second hand machinery, which will increase manufacturing capacity at a low import cost,” he said, adding that the up-gradation funds and other steps, announced in the policy, should be implemented as soon as possible to reap its benefits.

AHMED CHINOY: The Central Chairman of the PCMA, Ahmed Chinoy, has said that though the 2003-04 trade policy is “export oriented,” the export target of 12.1 billion dollars is high and ambitious but achievable if the trade policy is fully implemented.

In a press statement, he hoped that the steps, announced by the Commerce Minister, would help in increasing the country's exports, especially due to availability of export financing at lower rates, import of second-hand machinery, re-organisation of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), hiring of consultants of international repute, space in the country's major warehouses and loans to industries in clusters at concessional rates.

The setting up of special export zones at Karachi and Lahore had been appreciated, as it would provide better facilities to the exports, he said.

Ahmed Chinoy welcomed the proposal to establish garment cities in Karachi, Islamabad and Faisalabad to boost the exports of high value-added garments, as the exporters would be provided all facilities under one roof.

The PCMA Chairman welcomed the suggestion to recognise and reward the exporters, who achieved high performance in the exports, a package of incentives would be provided.

He said the 25 percent freight subsidy facility had been extended up to July 2004, which would be instrumental in product diversification and geographic expansion of our exports.

He strongly urged the government to implement the trade policy with determination and full force, as in the past several important decisions announced could not be implemented.

He regretted that the Commerce Minister had ignored the issue of balancing, modernisation and replacement (BMR), and urged the government to allow import of machinery under BMR duty free.

He lauded the announcement of the Commerce Minister to allow major industrial units to acquire gas-fired self-powered generation capacity, which would result in lowering the input cost of domestic industrial production and help in building export surplus and boosting exports to achieve the export target of 12.1 billion dollars.

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