LAHORE - With a view to avoid the lapse of funds under the Export Package, the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association has asked the caretaker government to clear all the sales tax refunds of exporters approved by the last government for the current fiscal year, which is going to end on June 30.

PHMA Chairman Dr Khurram Anwar Khawaja said that the outgoing government in its last days had approved around Rs50 billion to clear refunds of exporters for the ongoing current financial year which would be lapsed after June 30th if not spent.

He stated that billions of rupees against the previous drawback of local taxes and levies are pending with government, causing liquidity problems to the exporters in keeping their export commitment, which must be released before the end of fiscal year 2017-18 on June 30 to streamline cash flow.

If the allocated funds under the Export Package for the fiscal year 2017-18 are not disbursed before 30th June 2018 the funds will be lapsed, argued Dr Khurram.

PHMA has been demanding the authorities to implement Rs180 billion in letter and spirit to bail out the value-added textile industry and to enhance the country's declining exports.

He said that GSP window had opened tremendous opportunities by way of inflow of abundant export orders which the industry would not be able to execute if liquidity problem of the industry is not resolved at the earliest.

He asked the government to appreciate the role of value-added apparel sector for its potential to harvest maximum benefits of GSP Plus, providing mass employment to the population of the country.

He said the benefits of the renewed GSP Plus status can only be harvested by maximum value-addition in finished products rather than exporting only raw materials, which cannot be possible without relaxation in import policies.

He also demanded steps to abolish all the duties and taxes on the polyester yarn, enabling the knitwear and sportswear industry to compete with the international market.