The Pakistan commerce ministry has proposed zero-rating for major exportable products which includes textile and clothing in the next budget. The proposal of zero-rating would mean no tax, no refund. The other major exportable items are carpets, sports, surgical and leather goods.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan said that his ministry was taking up the issue of pending refunds with the relevant stakeholders. The finance ministry has withheld Export Development Fund (EDF) to the tune of Rs25 billion. This year, the amount would reach Rs30bn.
The minister further stated that the finance ministry had been urged to release the withheld amount which can be used for supporting the export of those sectors which were declining.
The minister disclosed that Pakistan will sign the International Road Trans-ports (TIR) Conven-tion in the next few weeks as they have got approval from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to accede to the convention. More than 61 countries are signatory to the TIR convention.
Under the TIR Convention, the Pakistani trucks would be able to travel to Afghanistan, Central Asia, Turkey and Europe with minimum interference.
After signing the Convention, Pakistani goods would be able to travel in Customs secure vehicles or containers and throughout the journey, duties and taxes at risk would be covered by an internationally valid guarantee.
He said that goods would be accompanied by an internationally-accepted Customs document (TIR Carnet), opened in the country of departure and serving as a Customs control document in the countries of departure, transit and destination.
The TIR Convention would not only help develop good relations with Afghanistan, but would also help resolve issues with Central Asian States.
Afghanistan had been charging 110 percent guarantee taxes on transit of goods to Tajikistan which was returned to Pakistani exporters after crossing the Afghan border.
The minister said that the next yearâ€™s budget would be focused on pro-growth. This year, the second phase of tariff reforms would be introduced.
On the Generalised System of Preference (GSP-Plus) scheme, the minister said that it is good for the country but the scheme is yet to benefit the industrial sector because exporters diverted their exports from other destinations to Europe instead of increasing their production.
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