SIALKOT: President of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muhammad Ashraf Malik Saturday said that incentive schemes for exporters are vital to keep the industry competitive at international level, considering the peculiar situation of the economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Malik said that the Prime Minister Incentive Program (DDT and LTLD) launched in 2016 provided a much-needed boost to the export sector with a 7 percent drawback and acted as a catalyst to reverse the downward trend of exports at that time. He, however, lamented that the rate of drawback, which was later reduced to 3 percent, should have remained at 7 percent to achieve the desired targets.
Malik referring to the recent statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding priority of his government to run the economy on strong foundations to create livelihood opportunities, increase trust among foreign investors and enable local industries to flourish, stressed that the rate of drawback through SRO 711(I)/2018 (non-textile) and order No. 1 (42-B)TID/18-TR-II (textile) should be enhanced to 7 percent to achieve the said targets of export which the Ministry of Commerce is setting under the forthcoming Strategic Trade Policy Framework.
He stated that an increase in the drawback rate is the need of the hour for the crisis struck export industry to bounce back and strive for an increase in exports. Malik was also of the view that the COVID-19 pandemic has opened new avenues of trade for the exporters including the manufacturing & export of personal protective equipment (PPEs).
“The federal government should also consider incentivising the PPE exporters to encourage them to gain maximum market share,” he added. He further said that it is the right time for Pakistan to gear up for proving its mettle in the Personal Protective Equipment Industry as its market size is expected to grow to US $87.67 billion by 2027.
Malik also stressed that the revolutionary facilitation of the federal government to provide the exporters with special electricity and LNG rates at US cents 7.5 per kWh and USD 6.5 per MMBTU should be continued for at least 2 years. He said that the incentive in energy inputs would allow the exporters to fight against international market pressures by the competition.
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