Apr 01, 2020: Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh on Wednesday discussed the plan for export uplift with Prime Minister’s Advisor on Commerce, Textile, Industry, Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood through a teleconference on Wednesday.
The PM Advisor said that government was committed to cope with challenges being faced by the country. “We have to bring in export culture and export driven growth strategy,” he vowed.
Abdul Razak Dawood said the government was rectifying all those matters which went wrong in the past and taking facilitation steps to ensure businessmen market access. He said that engineering and other sectors were also being focused for exports. He also emphasized to bring in quality culture as it would definitely help in enhancing exports.
The PM’s Adviser said that he was persuading Pakistan’s manufacturers to send their products outside the country in quantity terms to attain the market share.
LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that Special permission should be granted to Industries for loading export cargo. He added that to bring more liquidity in the economy, it was requested that Refunds of export-oriented industries should be released on immediate basis.
He appreciated recently government’s initiative to enhance country’s exports growth after the economic slowdown due to COVID-19 outbreak.
Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said the government should revive zero-rating facility for export-oriented Industries and the income tax refunds of Rs 100 billion should be released immediately for the industry to overcome liquidity
issues. The government should not charge payments for DTRE and DLTL so that the issue of refunds was not created. He said that special permission should be granted for transportation of labour of export-oriented industries. The government should re-allow BMR (Balancing, Modernization and Replacement) Tax Credit of 10 per cent under Section 65B of Income Tax Ordinance.
In order to reduce the cost of doing business for the local industry, the gas tariff should be reduced and Income Tax Exemption certificates on electricity bills should be allowed for all the industries, as well as zero duty on raw materials for export oriented industries which were not manufactured locally.
Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said, the federal and provincial governments needed to publicly announce the approval for exporters, so that all government functionaries i.e administration and law enforcers should honour that approval, citing that this announcement would also help media to understand that exporters were permitted by the government to complete their pending export orders.
The LCCI President said that various essential food items in Pakistan were imported from Australia, Canada and Myanmar, and there was a chance that these countries might stop their exports of essential food items. The government should have a backup plan of finding substitute markets for importing essential food items on emergency basis.
He said that export industries across all sectors which confirmed export orders, should be allowed to operate in the lockdown period. A special mechanism should be devised by the government in this regard.
He said that workers were only in the factories for eight hours and for the remaining 16 hours they were on their own. Companies could not be held responsible for workers conduct outside the premises and expose them to coronavirus. He said that premises should not be either raided or sealed in case of possible cases.
Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that due to closure of airspace, the courier companies like DHL and FEDEX were not operating in Pakistan. As a result the documents of importers were stuck in China, while their consignments had arrived at Karachi Port. The government should give a special provision to facilitate importers for releasing import consignments against copied documents with the payment of shipping guarantee which was equal to 100 per cent of margin value.