LAHORE   -    The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to continue zero-rating regime for five zero rating export sectors to avert possible drop in exports.

LCCI President Almas Hyder, Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice President Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal said that discontinuation of zero rating status would result in disaster of export oriented industries that would lead to foreign exchange loss, unemployment and cut in the revenues of the government.

They said that government should not mull withdrawal of zero-rating regime for textiles, leather, carpets, surgical instruments and sports goods as major part of exports was associated with these sectors. They said that five-zero rating sectors were documented and contributing around 70% of total exports and 50% employment.

The LCCI office-bearers said that exports of the country were already at a critical stage because of poor ranking in ease of doing business, high input cost and a large number of duties and taxes. They said that any step in wrong direction like discontinuation of zero-rating regime would pose immense economic challenges. They said that exports were increased and issues of liquidity, refunds and flying invoices were resolved notably after introduction of zero-rating regime therefore government should not put a reverse gear by withdrawing this facility.

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 get their due share in the international market. They said that country could not afford to lose international export market therefore government should continue zero rating facility for the export-oriented industry.