KARACHI - The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) has demanded to the government to announce a system of bonus against exports in the form of subsidy otherwise exports will decline substantially and imports will increase to the detriment of the local industry.

President Unisame Zulfikar Thaver urged the Federal Minister to look into the matter seriously as the exporters are not in a position to export due to loss in realisation of proceeds at the current rate.

He said the cost of production is high and the return is less if this state of affairs continues then the farmers will be reluctant to cultivate and will resort to growing of selected items only and as a result the exports will suffer.

The textile sector, the foodstuff processing units, the light engineering industries are all unable to ship their orders in hand and are not in a position to accept new orders and are contacting the union for voicing their grievances, he added.

He said government should not misunderstand our plea because the business community wants the rupee and economy to grow but calls for steps to maintain balance. Thaver said to avoid the dilemma it is important that steps and measures are taken simultaneously for maintaining exports.

He said the government offered handsome rate of profit on Euro Bonds and likewise the government should aim at giving the equivalent subsidy to those who are earning the foreign exchange.

If the government can afford to give a benefit to the buyers of Euro Bond to get foreign exchange why should it not give the benefit to its own exporters who would be earning the foreign exchange.

The government needs to ensure that the inputs for the agricultural sector and the industrial sector become less costly and also the cost of finance is beneficial to remain competitive. The discount rate needs to be lowered to reduce cost of finance, he added.