Rs5b pending refund claims irk exporters

The local traders, industrialists and exporters expressed grave concern over the inordinate delay in the payment of sales tax refund and duty drawback claims, and said that the delay was halting the flow of capital in the industries.
They said that delay has been leaving very bad effects on the industrial production. They added that the business community’s customs rebate funds, sales tax refund and duty drawback claims worth Rs5 billion had been lying pending with Customs Collectorate Sialkot and at Regional Tax Office Sialkot due to which the local traders, industrialists and exporters had been suffering the shortage investment capital.
Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Fazal Jillani said that the exporters had been playing an instrumental role in strengthening and boosting the national exports and economy by earning precious foreign exchange. He added that they were in dire need of encouragement and patronisation by the government, adding that the TDAP should help and encourage the Sialkot exporters at every level. He urged the TDAP to enable them to enhance the national exports by ensuring easy access of the exporters to the international trade markets.
The SCCI president demanded early release of a special grant of Rs14 million from Export Development Fund (EDF) for the continuity of the internationally recognised child labour elimination programme from Sialkot’s soccer ball industry and its regular monitoring under the joint supervision of IMAC, SCCI and CSDO.
He narrated that Sialkot’s export industries had been lying deprived of the direly needed funds from Export Development Fund (EDF) for the last several years. These funds could help boost local industrial activities and exports from Sialkot, he added.
He said that the Sialkot exporters urged the TDAP to evolve an effective mechanism for the “proper” use of the EDF which is meant for the promotion and development of the country’s export sector.
Jillani said that the Sialkot exporters deposit Rs450 million annually as EDF. Thus, they also deserve incentives for the promotion and enhancement of exports. They pointed out that Sialkot’s export industries were being ignored regarding distribution of EDF due to lack of a mechanism.
He said that the exporters had also urged the TDAP to announce a special package of trade related incentives especial Research & Development funds for upgrading and modernising the export industries of Sialkot.
Local exporters including Riazuddin Sheikh, M Arif Sethi, M Arif Sheikh, M Ayub Khan and others said that the uncontrolled energy crisis and unbearable loadshedding of electricity and gas were crippling the Sialkot industries. They said that the situation was increasing the cost of production. He said that the situation was resulting in inordinate delay in timely dispatch of the export consignments to the foreign destinations as the prolonged and unbearable power outages had badly affected the industrial production.
They said that the Sialkot exporters were much perturbed due to the critical situation, inordinate delay in their refund claims and non-provision of funds from EDF.