Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Younus Muhammad Bashir has expressed deep concern over descending exports and the reports of further increase in gas tariff from July 1, 2016. He appealed the government to immediately withdraw Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) from the date it was implemented and also withdraw the recently-implemented 23 percent increase in gas tariff in order to save Pakistan’s exports from further deterioration.

President KCCI, in a statement, warned that if appropriate steps were not taken on war footing basis, there will be further decline in terms of exports, especially in the value-added sector. He was of the view that the industries in Sindh were being penalized in terms of tariffs as the industries in North have been receiving gas at a much lower price (RLNG).

Younus Bashir requested the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Finance to seriously look into the production and exports, particularly in the textile sector that has gone down by 14 percent which is very alarming.

He said that the business and industrial community of Karachi has been agitating and informing about the descending exports which has been occurring neither because of the inferior quality nor because of the quality of raw material but merely because of the fact that the cost of manufacturing was too high as compared to the neighboring countries.

Referring to a recent announcement by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, KCCI chief informed that they have announced a reduction of 20% from April 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016 and the new rate of $3.06/MMBTU on Gross Calorific Value (GCV) basis has been notified by the Indian government, which will bring in more competition and will result further decline exports of Pakistan.

“It is needless to mention that other challenging aspects remain unresolved including zero-rating of export oriented sectors, resolution of pending sales tax refunds, resolution of DLTL claims, customs rebates and other pressing problems which have already enhanced our cost of manufacturing”, Younus Bashir added.

He urged Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, Federal Finance Minister and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources to take immediate steps in order to create an enabling environment for Pakistani exporters who have been facing stiff competition and find it very difficult to stay afloat due to high cost of manufacturing.