ISLAMABAD    -        The Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association on Sunday welcomed the release of sales tax refunds of Rs 32.20 billion and appreciated the Ministry of Commerce for releasing another Rs17.6 billion under DLDL, saying the initiatives would act as a driving force for a sizeable growth in exports. In a press statement, PHMA vice chairman Shafiq Butt said: “Export industry is grateful to the prime minister and his entire team on payment of Rs 30 billion for bonds issued against long outstanding sales tax refunds. Moreover, release of Rs 2.2 billion against RPOs generated between Sept 6 and Oct 31. But this is a partial payment, majority of our members, who are renowned exporters, are still waiting for their refunds payment.”

He said the country has achieved current account surplus and now it needs a policy to become a trade surplus through industrialization and exports. “We are confident that the same spirit will be followed to remove remaining hurdles in export growth.”

He said the PHMA appreciated the government on great progress towards a sustainable future, including current account surplus from an annual deficit of $20 billion, Moody’s outlook from negative to stable and KSE Index crossing 40,000 levels.

Shafiq Butt also calls for removing of complications from the new refund payment system of the FBR. He said that increase in exports of the country was very important for improving national economy. He observed that it should be the utmost priority of the government to facilitate exporters in every possible way. He said the exporters were unable to procure and purchase raw materials and other accessories for fulfilling their future export orders which could cause collapse the entire export trade, he added.

He added that record inflation has hit the purchasing power of the common man due to which business activities have reduced significantly. He urged the government to reduce prices of fuel, electricity as well as the gas, besides reducing key policy interest rate to the single digit to facilitate the exporters. Shafiq Butt said the high cost of doing business has not only ousted Pakistani products from the international marketplace but was also jacking up the graph of unemployment. He demanded the FBR to release all refund claims of the export sector at the earliest, including deferred claims, customs duty drawback, drawback of local taxes & levies.