SIALKOT - Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association (SIMA) of Pakistan has urged the government to announce the direly needed six percent Research and Development Fund for the surgical industry, enabling it to flourish in WTO regime, in a bid to enhance its annual exports to the tune of $500 million from existing $250 million. Surgical industry, at present was exporting 99 percent of its total exports from Sialkot. Talking to the newsman, Chairman SIMA Muhammad Zubair Chaudhary said that the surgical industry was a cottage industry but govt was collecting nine percent mark up on refinance from surgical industry. He urged the govt to exempt surgical industry from this mark up and abolish the said nine percent mark up on refinance for the next three years in the larger interest of the surgical industry. He also urged the Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to announce the direly needed equally duty draw back ratio for the SI equal to the cutlery industry. Expressing grave concern over the prolonged persisting energy crisis, the SIMA Chairman also urged the govt to ensure the 250 megawatt uninterrupted electricity supply to surgical industry, enabling it to work with its full capacity and boom. The surgical exporters and manufacturers have rejected the value added tax (VAT), saying that this would open the ways of corruption. He said that presently, the Association has more than 2,600 registered members, who were engaged in manufacturing and exports of huge variety of surgical, dental, veterinary, eye care, orthodontic, beauty care products worth $241 million every year. The industry is providing employment to around 150,000 persons directly and indirectly. He demanded the control of Sialkot Material Testing Laboratory (SIMTEL) to Surgical Association by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).