KARACHI: The government was urged on Thursday to bring in necessary reforms and give special status to export-oriented industry, if it wants to make the most of the duty-free access to European markets under Generalised System of Preference (GSP) Plus scheme.

In a meeting with Federal Secretary for Ministry of Textile Industry Ms Rukhsana Shah at the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exports Association (PHMA) House, the industry leaders said that the deficiencies and bottlenecks in the system and legislation needed for labour laws by provincial assemblies could become a stumbling block in achieving desired goal.

Their utmost demand was that a special status be given to export-oriented industry by separating it from other industrial sectors.

They urged Ms Shah to evolve a system to daily monitor exports under GSP Plus and keep a check on export progress of all product-lines so that exporters do not exceed the threshold in quantity and become defaulters.

Reiterating their demand of zero rating status for export-oriented industry, these leaders said that up to February 2013, there was no deduction of sales tax which has to be refunded by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) at later stage. The system was causing corruption and also long delays in getting refund payment which ultimately created liquidity crunch for export trade.

Therefore, if the government wants that the GSP-Plus scheme is fully utilised it should immediately revert back to previous system of zero rating of export oriented industry which would mean no deduction and no payment of sales tax refund and this will also ensure cash flow for industry to meet export contracts, these leaders asserted.

It was also demanded that there should be ‘one window’ operation for export sector where all its duties and taxes including payments of EOBI and SESSI and other labour levies are paid and also refunds are made where needed so that exporters could concentrate without being harassed and intimidated.

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