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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has decided to constitute 10 new members of Board of Export Development Fund (EDF), constitutionally headed by the Prime Minister as Minister-in-Charge, Commerce Division or his nominee, sources in the Commerce Division told Business Recorder.

Sharing the details, sources said, the Cabinet in its meeting held on May 30, 1991, decided that an Export Development Surcharge (EDS), equivalent to 0.25 percent of the export value, may be levied on all exports, with effect from 1st July, 1991 and that the proceeds of the Surcharge should be transferred by the Government to the Export Development Fund (EDF), for distribution amongst the various Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Export Associations for export development. Export Development Fund was established through a resolution on 1st September, 1992. Subsequently, the Act called the "Export Development Fund (EDF) Act, 1999" (Annex-A describing aims and objectives, administration, Board of Administrators, their functions, powers, Committees, funding and audit etc.) was passed, which was duly published in the Gazette of Pakistan on 31st July, 1999.

The Board of Administrators of Export Development Fund (EDF) is constituted under section 5 of the EDF Act, 1999. There is a mandatory requirement under section 5 of EDF Act 1999, that the EDF Board must have at least 13 members: (i) Ex-Officio 09;(ii) Parliamentarian 01 (to be nominated by the Commerce Minister) and ;(iii) private 03 ( to be nominated by the federal government.

In addition to 13 members, section 5(2) provides that the Federal Government, may appoint additional members, as and when considered necessary. Section 6 (1) further clarifies that the persons appointed members from the private sector shall preferably be from the Presidents of the Associations and Chambers of Commerce and each one shall hold office for one year from the date of notification.

Previously, the Federal Cabinet in its meeting held on March 26, 2019 considered the summary of March 12, 2019 submitted by Commerce Division and in accordance with the proposal, granted approval for "Constitution of (the Board of Administrators of Export Development Fund (EDF)," while excluding parliamentarian Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA, in the light of the advice tendered by Law Minister.

Notification for constitution of the Board of Administrators of the Export Development Fund was issued on March 29, 2019. The one year period of the Board expired on March 25, 2020. In view of this, Commerce Ministry has proposed that the following persons may be nominated as member or Board of Administrators for one year under sections 5(1) (10) and EDF Act, 1999; (i) President, Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry (member): (ii) President, Khyber Chamber of Commerce & Industry (member); (iii) Chairman, Pakistan Textile Exporters Associations (PTEA). The following additional members will be notified under section 5(2) of the EDF Act 1999 for one year; (i) Abdul Razak Dawood, PM Advisor on Commerce and Investment (member); (ii) Chairman, Pakistan, Software Houses Association for IT and ITES(P@SHA); (iii) Chairman, Surgical Instrument Manufacturers Association of Pakistan(member); (iv) Chairman, Pakistan Fisheries Exporters Association, Karachi( member); (v) Waheed Ahmed, Patron-in-Chief, All Pakistan Fruits and Vegetables Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association; (vi), Khalil Sattar, ex-Chairman, Pakistan Poultry Association and; (vii), Khawaja Anees, ex-Chairman, All Pakistan Bedsheet and Upholstery Manufacturers Association .

The Prime Minister, as Minister-in-Charge for Commerce has seen and authorized the submission of the summary to the Federal Cabinet with the desiring the Board to present the clarification before the Cabinet about the status of Chairman EDF Board.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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