KARACHI: The export-oriented industry has asked the government to establish a ‘GSP Plus Cell’ for maximum utilisation of duty-free access to 27-member European Union (EU) as well as job creation and earning foreign exchange.

The proposal was part of various demands raised by the leaders of six leading value-added textile sectors at a hurriedly called press briefing held at the Pakistan Hosiery Manufactures Association (PHMA) House on Monday.

The representatives said that the cell could monitor each consignment leaving the country’s ports and the information would be shared with exporters so that no over shipments can be made and risk any default.

Similarly, the government should immediately match tariff lines with the EU as out of the total 949 tariff lines of Pakistan, around 210 do not match with the Brussels tariff lines. “This will cause problem to exports at port of entry when EU customs and tariff lines do not match,” the maintained.

The leaders pointed out that Pakistani exports would be facing stiff competition from 58 countries already enjoying GSP Plus and hence Pakistani products should be most competitive to fully avail free market access.

“Without giving special status to the entire export oriented industry, the desired goals cannot be achieved. On granting special status, the government should give top priority to export oriented industry in supply of all utilities, including power, gas and water,” the leaders demanded.

Furthermore, they said that tariff for essential utilities should be fixed for a minimum period of one year to enable export oriented industry to live up to its commitments made with foreign buyers.

The leaders complained that long delays in payment of different refunds by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) often causes liquidity crunch for export trade who have to compete and ensure timely delivery of export orders.

It must be ensured that pending claims against Drawback on Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL), sales tax refunds and customs rebate should be cleared without any delay.

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