LAHORE   -   Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government to restore zero-rating regime for five export sectors as it has caused unrest among the businessmen.

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LCCI President Almas Hyder, Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice President Faheem Ur Rehman Saigal said that export revenues will be affected by withdrawal of zero rated facility and will potentially create a balance of payment crisis for the economy.

They said that government should introduce an automatic and efficient system of refund payments whereby 75 percent of refunds should be paid through the bank upon the issuance of the attested copy of bill of lading while the remaining 25 percent of refunds should be paid through the banks against the export proceeds after 30 days.

They said that government has announced withdrawal SRO 1125 under which five exports oriented sectors are exempted from sales tax and its withdrawal will add burden to the government exchequer besides hitting the national exports badly.

LCCI office-bearers were of the view that announcement made in the federal budget speech 2019-20 has created unrest amongst the exporters who are working in difficult circumstances but making their all out efforts to bring much-needed foreign exchange in the country. Withdrawal will squeeze the working capital of the industry and dry out liquidity from the market.

They suggested that government should devise a proper mechanism that can lead export-led growth instead of opting illogical measures of withdrawal of zero-rated facility. 

LCCI said textiles, leather, carpets, surgical instruments and sports goods as major part of exports is associated with these sectors, adding that they said, five-zero rating sectors are documented and contributing around 70 percent of total exports and 50 percent in employment.

They said that continuation of zero-rating facility for the export-oriented sectors would go a long way and help promote country’s exports and would also boost the trust of not only local businessmen but would also give a very good message to the foreign investors.

They said that zero-rating facility would also bring down the industrial cost of doing business and Pakistani products would be able to win their due share in the international market.

“Country cannot afford to lose international export market therefore government should continue zero rating facility for the export-oriented industry in the larger interest of the economy,” they said.