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Pakistan

FBR’s exports facilitation strategy leads to significant trade growth upt o 50pc

  • As compared to the exports of US $1.993 billion during the same month of last year, the exports in grew by 18.3 percent.
13 Jan 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Integrated Strategy, devised by the Federal Board of Revenue, has amply contributed to significant increase in exports from Pakistan, reaching to US $2.4 billion in December 2020 as compare to US $ 1.6 billion in August 2020, showing about 50 percent growth.

As compared to the exports of US $1.993 billion during the same month of last year, the exports in grew by 18.3 per cent, according to FBR data.

While mentioning factors that facilitated growth in exports, the board stated that import duties on 1,623 tariff lines, pertaining to basic raw material and intermediate goods were reduced to zero through the Finance Act, 2020.

In pursuance of this strategy, additional customs duties and regulatory duties on 164 items related to textile sector, not manufactured in the country, were also removed in collaboration with all the stakeholders, according to FBR press statement issued here.

All these measures were undertaken with the objectives of neutralizing adverse impact of COVID-19 Pandemic, especially for the exporters, and to make their products competitive vis-à-vis those of their competitors in the international market.

Under the initiative of “Make in Pakistan”, the Duty Drawback rates for at least eight (08) sectors were revised upwards by FBR, it said adding that during the whole exercise, more than 434,000 claims were disposed of and approximately 7800 exporters have benefited from this Initiative.

Similarly, the board has paid ninety (90) percent more refunds of Sales Tax during July-December, 2020 as compared to the corresponding period last year. This led to significant rise in volumes of exports in the form of increase in TEUs (i.e. Tonnage Equivalent Units) / Containers from 35,477 in July, 2020 to 62,591 in December, 2020, showing a growth of 43%.

In order to tangibly contribute to exports, all the Export Facilitation Schemes were simplified or rationalized for their optimal use by the exporters.

First of all, extension in utilization period of different export facilitation schemes was allowed for a period of one year from March 1st, 2020 to February 28, 2021.

Secondly, retention period for plant and machinery, under the Export Oriented Units Scheme, was reduced from 10 years to five years.

Thirdly, for the prompt redressal of grievances, one administrative tier was reduced under Duty and Taxes Remission for Export Scheme and Manufacturing Bond Scheme and Regulatory Authority was created to facilitate the exporters.

Moreover, the investors in Export Processing Zones were facilitated in payment of duties/taxes on the disposal of machinery in the tariff area. These facilitation measures led to increase in number of exports Goods Declarations (GDs) from 71,190 in July, 2020 to 79,756 in December, 2020, posting an increase of 11%.

In the same vein, total number of Exports Goods Declarations (GDs) from July 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2020), remained at 408,472 against 333,943 during January 1st, 2020, showing an increase of 18%.

To realize the objective of facilitation / promotion of exports, an automated system of filing the claim to the final sanctioning of Duty Drawback Claims for the payment of Duty Drawback Claims to the exporter was rolled out on October 1st, 2020.

As a matter of fact, export Goods Declaration filed in Customs WeBOC system is being considered as the Duty Drawback Claim.

The State Bank of Pakistan credits the system sanctioned payments in the accounts of exporters online directly. In addition to the automation initiative, Green Channel clearances of the exports GDs / Consignments were increased from 74% in July, 2020 to 77.3 % in December, 2020. Similarly, for speedy payment of Sales Tax refunds to exporters, FASTER PLUS System has been implemented.

FBR also removed regulatory duty on import of cotton yarn, till June 30, 2021, which is a basic raw material for the value-added textile industry of Pakistan.

Being committed to the national goal of increase in exports, the board has been making all out efforts to assist exporters by continuously making improvements in its laws and procedures, the statement concluded.