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Commerce Ministry to get guidance from PM on declining exports

Commerce Ministry to get guidance from PM on declining exports

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) will present report on declining exports to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seek further guidance in this regard, Customs Today learnt on Thursday.

The MoC has carried out a comprehensive exercise to find out reason and factors behind the declining exports especially during last four months. A well-placed source privy to the Commerce Minister told this scribe that the MoC held detailed discussion with almost all the stakeholders on this subject and got their input on the matter.

“These stakeholders included chambers of commerce and industries, representative delegates from trade bodies, exporters associations, textile and other sectors,” the source added, saying that almost four to five main reasons were found responsible for the reducing trend of exports.

“Refund of sales tax, power shortfall, behaviour of officials of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), lack of required infrastructure for customs and Anti Narcotics Force and few other factors were highlighted by the stakeholders during discourse of negotiations with the Minister for Commerce,” the source further added.

“Small traders and exporters are much worried due to lethargic procedure for the refund of sales tax because from their point of view, their entire investment and seed money is blocked in sales tax refund and they become short of investment for further exports,” the source revealed. “Therefore, the source said that the Prime Minister would be asked to provide further guidance to overcome the looming crisis,” source said, adding that all four issues and factors were not related to the Ministry of Commerce as well as MoC had not authority to resolve the said problems.

The source said that the MoC would also ask the Prime Minister to convene an inter-ministerial meeting of the all ministers concerned because all the issues highlighted by the stakeholders did not fall under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Commerce.

Refund of sales tax and behaviour of officials of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) as well as lack of required infrastructure for customs are related to the Ministry of Finance, Anti-Narcotics Force is attached department of Ministry of Interior and power shortage is concerned with the Ministry of Water and Power,” the source observed, adding that these issues could only be handled at the level of inter-ministerial meeting.