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Most of Small to medium sized rice exporters have closed their units due to loadshedding: Zulfikar Thaver

Karachi, June 19, 2013 (PPI-OT): Most of the small to medium sized rice exporters have closed their units due to unsurmountable problems of load shedding, inferior supply chain, lack of finance facilities,high cost of production, poor infrastructure and lawlessness.

President Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) Zulfikar Thaver informed the viewers on a local television channel that despite the fact that rice is not a staple food in Pakistan the prices of rice have increased making it uncompetitive for export.

He said the farm inputs have become costly and the cost of production due to increase in prices of fertilizer, diesel, packing material, pesticides, insecticides and fumigation medicine has compelled the farmers to raise their supply prices.

To overcome the high increase the farmers and millers are not maintaining the broken percentage and the specifications and this has adversely affected the supply chain. The rice processors and exporters have to do extra processing of the grains to maintain the international standard.

He pointed out that the commercial banks are not discounting bills drawn on buyers from third world countries and banks of low rating. Secondly the banks have increased their charges for advising, negotiating and communicating with the buyers banks.

Most of the SME units have shut down due to heavy load shedding as it is become uneconomical for them to use diesel generators which increases the cost of production.

The SME units in Sindh have complained of robberies, theft and dacoity and transportation of goods is become unsafe due to gangsters unloading the rice bags at signals and cross roads.

The union has invited the attention of the provincial and federal governments that the SME business community had high hopes and were expecting much from the new elected governments but unfortunately no attention is being paid to their problems.

The union lamented that withholding tax on rice exports has been increased from 1% to 1.5% and all direct and indirect taxes have been increased and warned the government that the effects of the so called friendly budget will be unfriendly and trade will be ruined ultimately resulting in loss of revenue to the government.

The union pointed out that the increase in taxes will lead to corruption and malpractices and promote non disclosure of business transactions and smuggling.

The union has requested Ishaq Dar the federal finance minister to spare time for the SME sector representatives to enable them explain the correct position to him for redress.

The union expressed surprise as to how an elected government which promised success and prosperity could afford to give a deaf ear to the SME sector which is the majority sector and the backbone of the economy. It pointed out that without the promotion and growth of the SME sector the country will not be able to prosper and come out of the crisis.

For more information, Contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Phones: + 92 35884225 and 6
Cell: + 92 300 8245307 and + 92 321 8245307
Fax: + 92 35380642

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