Senate Standing Committee on Textile Industry on Wednesday asked the government to release the pending tax refunds worth Rs100 billion, which are stuck with the FBR for the last three years, to the textile exporters as early as possible.
The meeting, held under the chairmanship of Senator Mohsin Aziz, advised the textile exporters to have an umbrella organisation which can address the gravity of issues concerning the textile industry and can make its voice heard to the government.
The committee was given a detailed briefing by Chairman Council of All Pakistan Textile Association, Zubair Motiwala, who stated that high cost of doing business is the main cause of the serious crisis in the industry. The members were told that due to intermittent raise in the prices of raw materials, production inputs and utility tariffs, cost of doing business in Pakistan has escalated enormously rendering our exports uncompetitive in international market.
In his briefing, he said that an enabling environment and competitive structure needs to be provided to the textile industry of Pakistan to cater the dying industry which is at least growth level in the region.
He said that textile industries of other countries in the region are growing fast because their governments support.
The committee said that cotton crop sales are about to begin and government should address the textile exporters’ concerns immediately, otherwise the farmers of Pakistan would suffer terribly.
The committee also discussed a public petition pertaining to an appeal of Pakistan Textile Industry Exporters Association to allow zero-rating sales tax facility on export-oriented textile chain and restoration of SRO 1125(1)2011 to its original status declaring textile sector as truly zero rated.
The committee members unanimously agreed to bring back the zero rate mechanism and tax on local consumption. It was further agreed that government of Pakistan must collect the same from retail sector.
The committee asked for reducing gas tariff and statements in accordance with their availability in our competing countries like India, Bangladesh etc.
The committee directed that all pending tax refunds and custom related drawbacks and DLTL claims must be cleared within one month. Chairman committee recommended that all claims pending because of various reasons should be sorted out in consultation with the stakeholders within one month.
The committee also directed that in the wake of energy crisis, duty imposed on import of coal must be done away on immediate basis.
Grievances of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association and Value Added Textile Forum were also discussed in the meeting, identifying the ground realities which are causing extreme steps of closing down textile units in the country.
The meeting was attended among others by Senator Zahida Khan, Senator Osman Saifullah Khan, Senator Samina Abid, Senator Hari Ram, SM Tanveer, Chairman APTM and Sohail Pasha, Chairman PTEA.