Zardari's move to declare 2011 as 'Textile Year' hailed
KARACHI (May 07, 2011) : President, Asif Ali Zardari declared 2011 as "Textile Year" with the aim to promote the Textile Industry in the country, which was greatly appreciated by the entire Textile Industry.
Also the launching of the first ever pragmatic and revolutionary Textile Policy 2009-2014 in the history of Pakistan, carrying the vision of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was indeed a great step forward for the Textile Industry and resulted in great boost to our textile exports, stated M Jawed Bilwani, Co-ordinator, Council of All Pakistan Textile Associations.
Continuing with the efforts to exhilarate and boost textile exports former Finance Minister of your Government firmly assured that SRO No 3(1)TID/09-P-I dated September 1, 2009 allowing Drawbacks for the shipments made from September 1, 2009 to shipments made till June 30, 2011 expiring on June 30, 2011 would be extended for a further period lasting till the expiry of the Textile Policy 2009-2014 so that the Textile Sector survives in the larger interests of the nation.
While these bold measures surely increased export of the Textile Sector by 7.01 percent during last year 2009-10 and this year also increased by 30.43 percent for the 9 month (July-March) of 2010-11, it is most unfortunate that warning alarms have started ringing for an imminent brake of the wheels of the Textile Industry due to several adverse factors unless immediate remedial measures are taken on a war footing. Therefore, we most fervently appeal to the Honourable President, Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Textile Minister for the following:
Immediate release of payment against held up funds of Drawback on Taxes and Levies Order, 2009 of the exporters amounting to approx. Rs 20 billion and additionally balances of 60 percent of R&D Claims. Immediate release of held up payments against Custom Rebate Claims of the exporters.
Immediate release of held up payments against Sales Tax Refund Claims, which are stuck up before the electronic system was introduced. Extension of Drawback on Taxes and Levies Order, 2009 Scheme vide SRO No 3(1)TID/09-P-I dated September 1, 2009 for period of two years expiring on June 30, 2011 should for a further period of three years (period of validity of the Textile Policy 2009-2014) which will greatly help in the survival of the largest foreign exchange earner the Textile Sector.
In these times of severe economic crisis, great burdens are on the Textile Sector, which is battling hard for its survival in the face of stiff competition from neighbouring and other competing countries in the international market. Not only are our exporters facing very tough times today in retaining their once established markets and buyers who are rapidly deserting them and going to neighbouring and other competing countries with their orders but they also shun visiting our country in view of negative travel advisory from their Governments.
To crown this all, with the exorbitant costs of doing business in Pakistan, numerous Federal and Provincial Taxes, high rates of utilities such as Gas and Electricity etc has indeed crushed the over burdened exporter. While frequent load shedding both of gas and electricity coupled with frequent strikes is causing approx. three month of closure of factories which increases expenses on overheads, insurance etc, this also multiples our markup rate by 25 percent.
Due to the grave law and order scenario, frequent criminal incidents in our industrial area which are rapidly rising, additional expenses are incurred on arranging our own security and all these are adding to an enormous amount of costs of doing business.
To add fuel to the fire, the above given held up payments are crippling the exporters due to the severest ever liquidity crunch and this Textile Sector, which generates the largest employment is in a mess and faced with such harsh ground realities, many of these industries are taking their investments and shifting abroad with flight of capital and there are apprehensions of mass unemployment in the country which is already facing unemployment of its people, leading to utter chaos and disaster resulting in very serious law and order problems.
While credit goes to the Textile Policy for increase in exports, we strongly feel that to really succeed in the realisation of the objectives and in the achievement of the "Textile Year," it is imperative that all the stuck up payments of exporters relating to Drawback on Taxes and Levies Order, 2009; Custom Rebate Claims and Sales Tax Refund Claims are released immediately to enable them to survive and increase their exports and meet the ambitious target of the Textile Policy in the largest interest of our nation.-PR
Copyright Business Recorder, 2011