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FAISALABAD: Government is contemplating removing custom duty after withdrawing the 5% import duty on cotton yarn and in this connection the final decision will be taken by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) within the next couple of days, said Abdul Razzak Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce.

He was talking to a delegation of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) headed by its President Engineer Hafiz Ihtasham Javed. Other office bearers of different trade bodies also joined him through Zoom.

Abdul Razzak Dawood appreciated the entrepreneurship of Pakistani industrialists and exporters who succeeded in enhancing textile export by 7.79% during July-December despite coronavirus related restrictions. He also mentioned the in time decision of the Government to open the industrial sector played a major role in stabilizing the economy in addition to keeping the jobs intact of the millions of workers and overcoming the major threat of hunger and poverty by daily wage earners.

Advisor to the PM said that our industrialists also fully adhered to the coronavirus SOPs and continued their exports during the lockdown period. Most of the units are now working with 100% of its installed capacity while export oriented units are facing shortage of skilled manpower for their third shift.

“Recommendation to withdraw customs duty has also been recommended and would be implemented after the approval of ECC,” he said and added that a 3-year rationalization plan is also being prepared which will cover a number of sectors including textile, plastic, chemicals, engineering, pharmaceutical and food. The Advisor said that a digital system is being implemented for labor inspection in different industrial units which will be a part of “ease of doing business”. Similarly efforts have also been expedited to reduce “cost of doing business” and added that restoration of zero-rating regime is on top of the agenda. Regarding electricity and gas tariffs, Razzak Dawood said that these utilities would be provided at 6.5 cents and 7.5 dollar per MMBTU. “These rates have also been made an integral part of the proposed textile policy 2020-25,” he added.

He said that he was also making serious efforts to extend a long-term financing scheme to the SME sector and this case has already been forwarded to ECC for final approval. He further said that the Government is making serious efforts to provide raw material to the embroidery sector so that it could compete in the global markets. About sick industrial units, Abdul Razak Dawood said that positive break through has been witnessed and some units have already started its operation partially.

Faiz Ullah Kamoka Chairman NA Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs also fully supported the genuine demands of the business community.—PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021