Lahore -- January 21, 2020 (PPI-OT)
Following is the text of press release issued by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
To enhance Pakistan's export competitiveness all Raw Materials for export oriented industries must be zero or low Custom Duties. Government must eliminate Regulatory Duties (RD) and Additional Custom Duty (AD) on Raw materials, so that local industry is able to make itself more export competitive.
While talking to a group of exporters, President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that exports bring in foreign exchange, enhance revenues of the government and generate employment opportunity therefore government should control those factors that are hampering the growth of exports-led growth.
The LCCI President said that Custom Duties (CD) on intermediary products for export oriented industries should be reduced so that our industry is able to import quality materials, components and machinery from the rest of the world at the same duty rate at which it imports through different FTAs. The Sales Tax Rate of 17% is exorbitantly high and must be reduced to make our industry more competitive.
"Overall, there is a need for overhauling of Taxation System with competitive Tariff Regime that promotes Industrialization, Tax Holidays for new Entrepreneurs, Tax exemptions for BMR, reduction in frequency and number of Taxes and Broadening of Tax Base where all incomes are treated and taxed equally", the LCCI President added.
Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that the commercial sections of the embassies need to work more efficiently; prepare fresh market research reports in their concerned country and send those reports to all the Chambers of Commerce in Pakistan. They should also play a pivotal role in developing liaison between Pakistani manufacturers and importer of that country. In the case of any conflicts, the commercial section needs to become a bridge between the two parties in order to resolve the conflict swiftly.
He said that our industry has not remained competitive in the international market because of the high cost of doing business. This is reflected by the stagnation in the exports of the country which are hovering around US$ 24 Billion despite the GSP plus status. The industry in Pakistan is hampered by relatively higher energy tariff as compared to our regional competitors (Bangladesh, India and Vietnam) which needs to be reduced in order to increase the competitiveness.