LAHORE: The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Syed Ali Ahsan has urged the government to end post budget uncertainty, which is adversely impacting production, employment and exports in the country.
He was addressing a press conference on Monday afternoon. Patron-in-Chief APTMA Gohar Ejaz was also present on the occasion.
While highlighting the situation on ground in the wake of withdrawal of zero rating (SRO 1125) for five exporting industries, he said sales / transaction in the local market are at halt, supply chain of the industry has disrupted, stocks are being piled up, liquidity crunch is forcing closure of mills that is translating into massive unemployment and export orders are not being finalized. He urged the government to issue notifications effective 1st July, 2019 for energy (gas and electricity) price for the five exporting sectors, ensure rapid refund mechanism for exports (95 % refunds to be paid on filing of Return), remove input tax invalidity condition in case of non-verification of CNIC of buyer, bring down rate of sales tax to 7.5% and withholding tax at 4 % of local sales and 5 ½% on Imports (unjustly increased due to withdrawal of SRO 1125) to 1%, withdraw 3% additional sales tax on machinery imports and ensure level playing field all across textile value chain, whether imports or local sales.
He said the textile industry envisages to increase textile and clothing exports from US$ 13.5 billion to US$ 25 billion in next 5 years if enabling environment is ensured by the government. Speaking on the occasion, Patron-in-Chief APTMA Gohar Ejaz said closing down of industrial units means that the economic wheel in the country has come to a halt. What FBR has imposed seems good only in books, but not in practice, he added.
He said the textile industry was not in favour of strike but still it demands from the government to consult it before changing the tax regime. He said exports can only be increased if there is new industry in the economy. He said there is no doubt that a country cannot run without taxes but the government should also give patient hearing to the industry demands.
He urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to intervene and ensure smooth economic activity and enable industry to operate and undertake new investment initiatives in the country.