LAHORE - The ministries as well as the central bank, instead of quickly implementing PM’s export package for exporters, are constantly using delaying tactics, involving lengthy procedures, complex methodology and such conditions which can never be fulfilled.

Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Senior Vice Chairman Sheikh Luqman Amin, while expressing serious concern over the elimination of ‘associations role’ in the new notification No 1(42-A)TID/17-TR-II, dated Dec 12, 2017), said that the new procedure was not practicable and could not be implemented.

“Such notifications and circulars show that bureaucracy is in no mood to implement the PM’s package at a time when the country suffers all time high trade deficit of $32.6 billion in FY17, jumping by over 36 percent against what it was in the last fiscal year,” he noted.

Luqman said that the role of Associations must be restored in the DDT Order 2017-18, if the government was serious in really implementing the PM’s package and with full transparency and merit.

He said that the Ministry of Textile had assured the exporters of a simple procedure and paperless working, but in the new notification the central bank had involved more paper working and a lengthy process for disbursement of duty drawback claims under the PM’s package.

“Instead of involving associations the exporters have been asked to directly submit their claims to the banks which have no technical staff to evaluate the claims,” he added.

PRGMEA senior vice chairman further said that earlier the associations exercised due diligence to ensure authenticity of the documents. “In the same way, the associations used to take the responsibility of checking the documents, verifying the claims of exporters and certifying the claims for onwards to Authorized Dealers like GD for eligible HS Code, Bill of Lading to confirm shipment, verify PRC Annexure IV to check the validity of time period whether the claim fell within 90 days or not,” he recalled.

He said that the Associations also used to substantiate the authenticity of information provided by the export units and verify their documents. He said that by eliminating the role of the Associations, the long delay will multiply as the banks don’t have the capacity and required skills to scrutinize the claims on their own.

Luqman stressed the need for the continuation of transparent role of trade bodies for the implementation of export promotion initiatives.

The PRGMEA leader opined that the SBP had taken a one-sided decision without consulting with the associations, which were the elected platforms of industry.

He appealed to the prime minister to direct State Bank and Ministry of Textile Industry to restore Associations’ role in the disbursement of DDT Claim under revised PM Export Package 2017-18 at the earliest to give confidence to the exporters who were battling hard to earn foreign exchange.

Luqman added that billions of rupees against the previous Drawback of Local Taxes & Levies are pending with government, causing liquidity problems to the exporters in keeping their export commitment, which must be released immediately to streamline cash flow.