Lahore, March 19, 2018 (PPI-OT): In the backdrop of Pakistan’s poor exports performance, the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has called for speedy implementation of revised PM package for exporters for 2017-18 along with an aggressive marketing plan to enhance exports and get the maximum benefit of GSP Plus status.
PRGMEA Senior Vice Chairman Sheikh Luqman Amin appealed the finance ministry to release the funds without any further delay, as more than 30 percent cash flow was blocked since long in the shape of sales tax refund and Customs rebate, which is adversely damaging cash liquidity. The Finance Ministry has not yet released the major amount of the previous Rs.180 billion PM package to be processed from January 2017, he said, and added that the government should take steps for the removal of hurdles hindering exports of textile sector.
Moreover, in this situation of financial crunch the textile value-added products are unable to fetch a high value due to poor packaging. He suggested that under these circumstances there is also need to set up a product and packaging centre for ensuring better packaging. Sheikh Luqman said that the association has also decided to devise a long-term strategy in response to the lack of interest showed by the government. He observed that the industry has been competing in the global market without support or a proper plan while major competitors like India and China are utilising all channels and resources.
PRGMEA Chief suggested that formulation of sector-wise policies can also control decline and stabilise the exports. He said that due to unavailability of the latest fabric locally, the garment sector currently has a limited product line for the export market, adding that foreign buyers are demanding new garments on G3, G4 and technical fabric raw material, which are not available nor produced by the Pakistani weavers.
Sheikh Luqman Amin lamented that value-added textile exporters were battling hard for their survival in the global market in the face of severe competition with the regional countries. Terming funds blockage as the main cause of continuous drop in exports, he said that export industry was unable to tap its potential in accordance with capacity. He said the government initiative, if implemented timely, will surely provide relief to the exporters who are presently facing severe liquidity crunch.
He said that the government had assured the exporters of simple procedure and paperless working, but in the new notification, the central bank has involved more paper working and lengthy process for disbursement of duty drawback claims. The PRGMEA SVC said that instead of involving associations the exporters have been asked to directly submit their claims to the banks, which have no technical staff to evaluate the claims.
The banks are violating the SBP directives of processing refund cases within 14 days due to unavailability of professional staff. He said that such notifications show that the Finance ministry is in no mood to implement the PM package at a time when the country suffers an all-time high trade deficit. He said that by eliminating the role of the associations, the long delay has been multiplying manifolds as the banks do not have the required skills to scrutinize the refund claims solely.
For more information, contact:
Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA)
3rd Floor, Plot No. 57-C, 24th Commercial Street,
Phase II (Ext), DHA, Karachi, Pakistan