MULTAN: Chairman of Multan Dry Port Trust Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi has said that all available facilities would be provided to the importers and exporters of Southern Punjab on concessional rates to attract them.
Presiding over a meeting of trustees he said that Sadiqabad Export Terminal was being activated to facilitate the exporters/importers of Bahawalpur Division particularly Rahim Yar Khan district and Muzaffargarh exporter terminal will help in boosting up the exports from Dera Ghazi Khan division.
Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi said the trading community should utilize the facility of Multan dry port for its survival while their problems would be redressed on top-priority basis. He said that exporters were not using the up-country dry port due to considerable delay in refund of rebate claims as compared to duration of refund of rebate claims at Karachi Collectorates.
“Ruthless double checking of export consignments by the Anti-Narcotic Force also cause delay in clearance. MDPT chairman has urged the Punjab government to withdraw Punjab infrastructure development cess as it is a dual tax and distressing the industries in Punjab.
He said the cess is dual tax which is being charged at 1.05 per cent on imported consignments in Sindh and 0.90 per cent at dry ports in Punjab on the pretext to provide resources for maintenance, development and improvement of infrastructure required to cater for load of goods traffic and to deal with other purpose but ground realities are quite different.
The levy of this cess is discriminatory and will further burden existing taxpayers instead of broadening tax net, he said, and added that after imposition of Punjab infrastructure development cess, the businessmen have started clearing their consignment in other provinces to avoid this tax which is not only hurting business of clearing agents and transportation companies that provide employment to thousands but would also cause huge damage to the provincial kitty.
Trustees said the cess is an indirect tax as it is being charged on movement of goods including raw materials cleared on dry ports of Punjab and proving an impediment to economic growth of the province. The trade and industry would be hit by the move and it would result in increased input cost, he added. They said the businessmen are already finding it hard to cope with a number of internal and external challenges while this cess would add to their miseries. The Punjab infrastructure development cess would also give an impression that business atmosphere in Punjab is not favourable, they added.
Vice Chairman Multan Dry Port Trust Malik Asrar Ahmed Awan said that businessmen of Punjab should be given some breathing space to supplement the Punjab government efforts aimed at economic revival of the province. There is a dire need to avoid new levies as they are not in a position to bear extra burden. He urged the Punjab Chief Minister to take up the matter personally and withdraw Punjab infrastructure development cess.
The meeting was attended by ex-president of FPCCI Mian Tanvir’A Sheikh, Khawaja Muhammad Younas, Syed Muhammad Aasim Shah, Khawaja Muhammad Yousaf, Khawaja Muhammad Ahsan Shah, Muhammad Ahmed Chughtai, Khawaja Muhammad Fazil, Mian Mansoor Rasheed, Sh. Tanvir Ahmed, Khawaja Muhammad Hussain ,Col(Retd) Owais Butt, Khawaja Mansoor Ahmed, Muhammad Sabir.