ICCI shows concerns over 14.40 percent decline in exports

  • January 25, 2016
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has shown concerns over falling exports of the country which have dwindled by 14.40 percent during the first half of current financial year and called upon the government to take urgent remedial measures to arrest this dangerous trend which has the potential to create balance of payment crisis and increase current account deficit.
Atif Ikram Sheikh President, Sheikh Pervez Ahmed Senior Vice President and Sheikh Abdul Waheed Vice President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that during July to December of this financial year, Pakistan’s exports have declined to $10.322 billion from $12.058 billion in corresponding period of 2014-15 showing a decline of 14.40 percent which should be a cause of concern for the policymakers.
They said exports of Bangladesh exceeded $16 billion during first half of current fiscal year showing an increase of about 8 percent while Pakistan’s exports were on the decline despite the fact that country was granted GSP status by the European Union from January 1, 2014.
They said after the grant of GSP Plus facility, businessmen were expecting a significant boost in exports as it has enabled the country to export textile goods to 27 European countries without duties till 2017, but unfortunately Pakistan has almost failed to fully exploit this concession due to various reasons including bottlenecks in policy, implementation, priorities and lack of desired support to export-oriented sector. 
They said tax refunds claims of billions of rupees were still lying pending due to which the export sector was facing liquidity problems. They said according to FBR rules the payment of sales tax refund claims would be paid within seven days of the date of Refund Payment Order (RPO) and stressed that government should ensure full implementation of this rule to clear tax refunds within stipulated time. 
They said government should reconsider imposition of duty on import of raw material, take measures to bring down cost of inputs by reviving zero rating for exports and release refunds to exporters because without taking these steps, there were dim chances of turning around the falling exports and paving way for export-led growth of the country.