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LAHORE: The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) held an interactive session in collaboration with the Model Customs Collectorate to facilitate exporters in enhancing value-added textile exports, contributing to the economic uplift of the country.

The interactive session was attended by several PRGMEA members. Customs Collector Ms Azmat Tahira, along with her team, which included Ms Farah Farooq, Deputy Collector Customs Ms Syeda Sidra, and ADC Additional Deputy Collector Customs, briefed the exporters about various issues.

These included rebate calculations, pending DTRE cases, bonded warehouse soft clearance, vendor registration for EFS, HS code approval, maintenance of customs records in duplicate (both manual and electronic), and access to different analysis certificates.

PRGMEA Central Chairman Mubashar Naseer Butt, addressing the meeting, emphasized that enhancing exports is the only way for Pakistan to achieve sustainable growth. He highlighted that Pakistan’s balance of payment sustainability depends on innovation and diversity in the structure of the economy. “We all need to engage more deeply in exports as it is the only path to ensure Pakistan’s sustainable growth,” he emphasized.

Mubashar Butt stated that to initiate this fundamental shift, there is a need to eliminate the anti-export bias. The industry should anchor itself on competitive principles in support of the government.

PRAGMA North Chairman Ahmed Hanif, addressing the meeting, said that the country needs to diversify its export market, as more than 50 percent of our exports rely solely on four markets: the USA, EU, China, and Afghanistan. He added that the government should assist the industry in making a difference by diversifying the market.

Ahmed Hanif expressed gratitude to the Customs officials for their valuable time spent introducing the new systems and addressing members’ queries. He highlighted the necessity for both public and private sectors to collaborate regularly in discussions, emphasizing their significance in boosting exports. Hanif underscored the importance of developing systems leveraging technology to enhance exporters’ efficiency and reduce business costs and time. He emphasized the need for studying systems already implemented by our regional competitors, including Bangladesh, China, India, and Sri Lanka.

On this occasion, Customs Collector Azmat Tahira assured the PRGMEA members of resolving glitches in all Customs facilitation schemes to make them more business-friendly, aiming to enhance the inflow of foreign exchange in the country.

Addressing the leading exporters of the garment sector, she expressed that the FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) is committed to providing maximum facilitation to exporters. This support aims to empower them to increase their exports, ultimately benefiting the country by earning foreign exchange.

She informed that Customs had been continuously working to enhance and develop the taxation system through reforms and automation. Similarly, she mentioned that the FBR had also been consistently working to improve the taxation system through reforms and automation. As a result, automation has been enhanced, and public interactions, especially for exporters, have become more limited.

Azmat Tahira appreciated the PRGMEA, stating that Customs believed in facilitating exporters to contribute to the economic prosperity of the country. The government and the PRGMEA were working closely together to facilitate taxpayers and exporters, operating hand in glove.

She gave a detailed presentation on the Customs facilitation schemes, highlighting the accomplishments made by the department so far. She also pointed out that the department had set up help desks to facilitate exporters.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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