By admin       2017-01-11

Jan 10, 2017 - Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday announced an incentive package worth Rs 180 billion to boost the country’s sagging exports, especially that of cotton. The package envisages abolition of customs duty and sales tax on import of cotton. Customs duty on man-made fibre other than polyester and sales tax on import of textile machinery has also been scrapped. Under the package, duty draw back rates for textile garments would be 7%; textile made ups 6%; processed fabric 5%; Yarn and grey fabric 4%; sports goods, leather and footwear 7%, the Radio Pakistan reported. Sharif made the announcement at a ceremony attended by members of the business community here. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the package will help achieve the government’s objective of export-led growth. During his address, Sharif noted that dozens of power plants are being installed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project besides many others being financed by the government. He reiterated the government’s objective to ensure availability of cheap electricity on a sustainable basis, adding that 10,000MW of new power generation will be added to the system by next year, and 30,000MW within the next few years. Sharif also said the government had decided to fund construction of the 4,500 MW Bhasha Dam using Pakistan’s own financial resources. However, the powerhouse on the dam will be built under CPEC. He said the Pakistan railways was being revamped and upgraded with an investment of $8 billion, and that it was looking to halve the time it normally takes to travel from Karachi to Peshawar. The Prime Minister said a network of roads, highways and motorways was being laid at a cost of 1,000 billion rupees integrating different regions of the country. In his speech, finance minister Ishaq Dar said the government was providing liberal incentives to the business community and it was now the responsibility of the exporters to increase the exports significantly. He asked them to ensure that exports are increased to 10% of the GDP. Minister for commerce Khurram Dastgir said Pakistani exports lost competitiveness due to incentives by competitors, complication in taxation and energy shortages. He expressed confidence that with this package and improvement in law and order situation and energy situation, the exporters would show results. The minister said Free Trade Agreements (FTA) were being negotiated with Thailand and Turkey.

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