MULTAN: Chairman of All Pakistan Bedsheet & Upholstry Manufacturers Association (APBUMA) Syed Muhammad Ahsan Shah has said that inconsistency in government policies was pushing the export industry towards destruction and the export sector is being threatened with disconnections while the exporters may not be able to fulfill their commitments after the new power tariff. Corruption of shipping companies and DP World / QICT has also made it impracticable for business community to manage business and compete in global markets.
He was exclusively talking with Customs Today the other day about current business situation. The government should take strict action against DP World / Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) and M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd for collection of unfair demurrage and detention charges from genuine importers for clearance of shipments. Shipping companies along with DP World / QICT threatened importers who refused to pay additional amount in shape of demurrage and detention charges.
He said Pakistan is already facing huge financial crisis due to money laundering, tax evasion, inflation in the country along with unanticipated downturn or recession, price fluctuations of commodities, current account deficits and uncertainty on foreign sector.
Corruption of shipping line M/s Maersk Pakistan and DP World / Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) should be brought to justice through serious actions and looted money should be deposited in the national exchequer to win the confidence of exporters and importers.
Syed Muhammad Ahsan Shah said that government had promised to provide electricity at 7.5 cent/KWH to compete the other countries in world market but now electricity rates are being revised to make the business uneasy.
He said increasing exports is the only option to revive the economy and ensure development. Move of the State Bank Pakistan to increase credit limit for exporters is laudable but doing business has become extremely difficult, he said. Ahsan Shah said that double-digit interest rates, power tariff increase by seventy percent, delayed refund payment, blackmailing of shipping companies and DP World / QICT along with heavy taxation issues have become serious problems for the industrial manufacturing sector.
He said that now the tariff for the export sector is higher than all of the competing nations which will leave our products too costly in the international market. He noted that refunds are not being paid as per the promises, while the issue of the tax credit are not being resolved amicably which has resulted in a liquidity crunch for the businessmen that is having a demoralizing effect.
The ambitious targets of International Monetary Fund and Federal Board of Revenue have made life difficult for the business community, he said, adding that taxes should be meant to improve trade policy and support the industrial sector but it has become a tool to generate maximum revenue.
He noted that some of the textile groups have no option but to close their units or opt for migration to other countries. Realizing the difficult situation, some diplomats have started luring the local export sector to set up industries in their countries where investment climate in better, he said.
He believed that collection of unfair demurrage and detention charges from shipments always crafted unwanted situation at port for the generation of additional revenue. He demanded government to provide relief to manufacturing sector by subsidizing electricity, gas prices and eliminate corruption at DP World / QICT to restore confidence of the business community.