ISLAMABAD -  The government is all set to announce a special package for the exporters in a bid to boost the country's tumbling exports.

"Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is seriously considering the demands of the exporters and to facilitate them a special package will be announced soon for them," said Minister of Commerce, Khurram Dastgir Khan.

Pakistan's exports fell by nine percent to $4.7 billion during July-September period of the ongoing fiscal year (FY2016-17) from $5.1 billion of last year. Exports are continuously declining since the incumbent government took charge in June 2013, falling from $ 24.5 billion in fiscal 2012-13 to $20.8 billion during previous financial year 2015-16. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also predicted that Pakistan's exports would decline due to the several reasons.

Keeping in view the declining trend of the exports, the government is most likely to announce a package in next few days that would likely give boost to the exports. "The government is finalizing the package with the consultation of relevant ministries and stakeholders that will be announce within this month," said an official of the government, wishing not to be named. He further stated that a major chunk of the package would be related to exports.

The business community has already communicated the government for giving incentives package to the exporters in order to achieve the exports target of $35 billion by 2018. "We have demanded of the government to resolve the issue of drawback of local taxes and levies, as DLTL incentive for FY2014-15 has been pending for the last two years and the government has not issues the notification of DLTL refunds of last year," said an official of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who recently held meeting with commerce minister. “We have also asked the government to give special incentives for increasing textile exports to non-traditional markets like South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, and Canada.”

The Commerce Minister Monday held a meeting with a delegation of Pakistan Towel Manufacturers Association. He asked the textile exporters to take maximum benefit out of zero-rating. The delegation highlighted in the meeting the main domestic and international issues that they are facing and which are adversely affecting their exports. The delegation informed the minister that there has been a significant increase in the export of towels in recent years and to further boost exports the exporters must be given relief from indirect taxes that are levied under different heads.

The minister assured them that every step will be taken to resolve all the issues that are encumbering exports. The minister urged them to take full benefit out of the zero-rating and also assured them that as per the commitment of the Prime Minister the remaining funds will also be issued to them.

The minister informed the delegation that the UK government has principally agreed of entering into a GSP Plus like agreement to continue duty concessions to Pakistani exports, on top of the GSP Plus agreement facility for next two years and likewise advance level deliberations underway with Turkey and Thailand which will ultimately provide concessions to export towel related products in the markets at competitive rates.