KARACHI -  Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) has said that Prime Minister should take the ownership of exports and implement the upcoming incentives package for exporters from the day of announcement in order to make it useful and helpful.

Head of FPCCI Standing Committee on Horticulture Exports, Ahmad Jawad said incentives will not be affective until Prime Minister takes ownership of exports till the next general elections as policy implementation is not seen anywhere," he added. It was the responsibility of Planning Commission to draft five years business plan since the inception of this incumbent government from economy to exports, he said.

Jawad told that the incentives package should be given on all exports and not only on those export items that witnessed a decline during 2015-16 or to only the textile sector, as special attention is also required for horticulture, rice and halal meat sectors. He hoped this time government would not ignore the non-traditional sectors.

“In the current scenario, country needs multi-dimensional strategy for increasing exports, he said and suggested that government should not rely on one sector as in past we focussed on few sectors only that’s why our exports performance is bleak today.”

He said PM Nawaz Sharif is expected to announce Rs100-125 billion package for exporters reportedly with a major share for textile sector aimed at reversing the declining trend in exports as Commerce Ministry was not willing to accept sole responsibility for the current decline in exports.

He said it was reportedly agreed that a package is necessary to encourage exporters who are struggling due to international slump in commodities prices and incentive packages given by neighbouring competing countries like India, Bangladesh and Vietnam to their exporters.

Jawad said according to the initial draft, which sources claim is almost the final version, 50 per cent rebate would be granted to exporters to be paid by the State Bank at the time the foreign currency is received. It has also been recommended that 50 percent rebate on vouchers should be given to exporters, valid only when Letter of Credit (LC) for machinery is opened.

He said it was also proposed that government should honour its pledge date of October 15, 2016 and clear pending tax refunds of exporters, without any delay, even if it is as a bank-negotiable instrument. However, now it has also been decided to clear the tax refund of exporters before the end of current month.