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KARACHI: Federal Secretary Commerce, Munir Qureshi has assured delegation of Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) that ministry of commerce will support the PTA for value addition in export of processed meat so that quality raw material should be made available for the local tanneries.

Chairing a meeting of leading exporters at his camp office in Karachi on Monday to address the immediate concerns affecting the exports of leather sector, the secretary also assured that his ministry would support the PTA for complete ban of export of live animals so that raw material should be made available for the local industry and also for the much-needed value addition required in the leather sector.

He further assured that the ministry of commerce and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) would continue to support and facilitate leather sector, especially to stop the smuggling and mis-declaration in export of wet blue leather.

He expressed that TDAP and PTA are already in a process of devising a strategy to check the export of raw / wet blue leather.

On tax and rebate related issues, Munir Qureshi suggested that PTA should plead case before the finance division and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Ministry of commerce would consider their proposals and would make appropriate recommendations to FBR.

According to those participated in the meeting, Qureshi informed that  the ministry of commerce is in the process of finalising the STPF for 2012-15 and TDAP is firming up the proposals for same.

Ministry of Commerce and TDAP will accordingly consider the proposals keeping in view the available financial resources.

The secretary further assured the delegation that he will try his level best to get the proposals to extend incentives provided in the last STPF 2009-12 for matching grant for individual effluent treatment plants in tanneries and labs individual tanneries for the next 3 years included in upcoming trade policy for the year 2012-15.

Chief Executive TDAP, Tahir Raza Naqvi said that ministry of commerce and TDAP are aware of the issues of PTA and a team of TDAP officers have already held meetings with PTA and custom officials to resolve their issues, especially to check the smuggling.

PTA delegation led by its Chairman S.M.Naseem opposed export of live animals under quarter wise Quota from Pakistan as well as its smuggling, which is hurting the leather industry severely. The delegation apprised the commerce secretary that due to export of live animals and smuggling price of milk and meat etc are going up to the exorbitant extent.

After threadbare discussing, it was agreed to promote the export of “processed meat” rather than to export live animals, which can fetch higher foreign exchange and would also have skins and other by-products remain available in Pakistan for further export process and value addition to get more foreign exchange.

PTA requested that any sort of restriction on export of leather would not be in the interest for the leather industry and would be disastrous. Also EU is highly sensitive on this issue for imposing any restriction on export of wet blue and finished leather.

They many counter to increase duty structure at the time of import of leather from Pakistan, this would be great bottleneck for finalisation of GSP/FTA already in progress with EU.

It was also discussed in detail to stop the mal-practice of mis-declaration /under invoicing for the export of wet blue hides and skins and accordingly secretary minister of commerce asked to PTA’s delegation to take concrete steps in this regard to avoid to evade the payment of 20 percent regulatory duty to avoid further loss of revenue for the government. The criteria of PTA should also be implemented strictly at all ports and dry ports in Pakistan , for which necessary distractive for issuance of special letters have also be made by the secretary during the meeting.

Thos who participated in the meeting from PTA includes M . Khurshid Ahmed, M Naseem Shafi, Gulzar Firoz, Habibur Rehman, Sheikh, Amanullah Aftab, Sh. Saqib Saeed Masood and Fawwad Jawed.

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