Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan praises initiatives taken in budget 2014-15 to promote Pakistan’s trade
Islamabad, June 04, 2014 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan praised the initiatives taken in the budget of 2014-2015 to promote Pakistan’s trade and congratulated the Finance Minister for his focused approach to accommodate the proposals of all the stake holders concerning Pakistan’s trade. Commerce Minister said that a number of land mark steps have been taken to increase export growth and export to GDP ratio which include setting up of Exim Bank of Pakistan, Export Refinance Facility, Long Term Finance Facility, removing anti-exports bias in imports, revitalizing Export Development Fund (EDF), establishment of Pakistan Land Port Authority among numerous other steps.
Exim Bank of Pakistan will provide liquidity to exporters and will be established with authorized capital of Rs. 100 billion while the initial paid up capital will be Rs. 10 billion. Mark up rate for Export Refinance Scheme of State Bank of Pakistan is being reduced from 9.4 % to 7.5 % from 1st of July 2014 which will bring it in line with such rate prevailing in the countries competing with Pakistan which will reduce the financial cost of exporters by 2%. The Government has arranged to reduce its mark-up rate on long term financing for 3-10 years duration from around 11.4% to 9% w.e.f. 1st July 2014 which will reduce financial costs of exporters by 2.4%
Similarly, a tariff rationalization program, being proposed in the budget will gradually remove the anti-export bias in country’s tariff policy and make export more competitive. The EDF Board has been reconstituted and its organization is overhauled with a view to make it more responsive and effective for the benefit of exporters.
Establishment of Land Port Authority will help Pakistan to increase its exports through the overland route where numerous opportunities are offered by regional countries and connectivity to northern and western corridors. The Expeditious Refund System is improved to dispose of all pending sales tax refund claims before 30th September 2014. In future, all admissible refund claims of exporters shall be disposed off within 3 months.
A meaningful export promotion policy will not be possible unless we provide much-needed support for the development of textile sector. Textile sector enjoyed duty-free import of machinery under textile policy 2009-14. This facility will end on 30th June 2014 (SRO-809). In view of the need to take full advantage of GSP plus facility, this concession would be allowed for another two years.
To enhance the production of cotton in the country the Government will ensure the availability of quality seeds by bringing amendments in Seed Act 1976 and Plant Breeders’ Act will also be promulgated. Furthermore, 120,000 men and women will be trained for skills in the textile sector over a period of five years through TEVTA institutes and textile industry.
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