‘SROs affecting Sialkot export industry’

SIALKOT: Chairmen of trade unions representing all five zero-rated export-oriented sectors and Sialkot Tax Bar Association have discussed the negative effects of SROs 505(I)/2013 and 98(I)/2013 on export industry with Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Sheikh Abdul Majid in a meeting.

The SCCI President told the chairmen that he had pointed out the problems regarding the said SROs in meetings with Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar, FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa, RTO Sialkot Chief Commissioner and other high-ups of the Board. It was told the meeting that the finance minister and FBR chairman were also requested in writing to give relief to Sialkot export industry but in vain.

Sheikh Abdul Majid, expressing concern on the government’s non-responsive attitude, said that implementation of SRO 505 and 98 had increased the cost of production by five to 10 per cent. He feared that declaring exporters as Sales Tax Withholding Agent would leave the businesses uncompetitive in the global market.

Pakistan Sports Goods Association Chairman Muhammad Iqbal Saleemi, Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association Chairman Bilal Tanveer, Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (North Zone) Chairman Tassawar Hussain, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (North Zone) Chairman Mir Muhammad Farooq Meyer, Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers and Exporters Association Chairman Khurram Azeem Khan, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association VC Muhammad Rafi Sony were present in the meeting. Aftab Hussain Nagra, President; Zulfiqar Ahmed Nasir, Arshad Nawaz Mann and Waseem Arshad also attended the meeting on behalf of Sialkot Tax Bar Association.

APTMA to hold road shows in European states, US

LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Gohar Ejaz has said that the association will hold international road shows in the European states and the United State.

He said this while talking to the delegation of Lahore Economic Journalists Association (LEJA). APTMA Vice Chairman Wisal Monnoo, APTMA Punjab newly-elected Chairman SM Tanveer, newly-elected Senior Vice Chairman Ali Ahsan and APTMA Committee on International Trade Convenor Amir Fayyaz were also present there.

Gohar Ejaz said that the APTMA is struggling to bring Chinese investment in textile sector of Pakistan. He said the Businessmen Group, during last four years, has achieved an increase of $3.5 billion in textile exports despite the odd circumstances, including energy crisis and high interest rates.

Gohar stated that the industry exports have gained $13.1 billion mark in 2012-13 against $9.5 billion in 2009-10. He said the Businessmen Group has set a target of another $13 billion in next five years that will also generate 10 million jobs in the country.

The APTMA chairman congratulated to the Businessmen Group that has made a clean sweep in the association’s Punjab elections for the year 2013-14. All the six Central Executive Committee Members from Punjab have been elected unopposed for 2013-14.

Shalimar Link Road traders support PIAF-Founders Alliance

LAHORE: As many as 120 members of Shalimar Link Road Traders Association have announced to give votes to the PIAF-Founders Alliance Associate Class candidates.

The announcement was made by the President of Shalimar Link Road Traders Association Haji Manzoor Ahmad during the visit of PIAF-Founders Alliance leaders Mian Anjum Nisar, Iftikhar Ali Malik, Muhammad Ali Mian, Sheikh Muhammad Asif and candidates for Associate Class Sohail Lashari, Khawaja Khawar Rasheed, Talha Tayyab, Raja Hamid Riaz, Rizwan Ali Khalid, Muhammad Haroon and Muhammad Akram on Wednesday. General Secretary of Association Azhar Chaudhry, Vice President Umair Muhammad Atif, Ramzan Chughtai, Haji Shaukat Ali, Muhammad Bashir and Muhammad Irfan were also present on the occasion.

Members of the Association pledged to support the PIAF-Founders Alliance in the LCCI elections and said that Alliance has opened doors for the traders and left no stone unturned to solve their problems.

PIAF-Founders Alliance leaders said that PIAF-Founders Alliance would continue its efforts to get issues of business community solved.

Meanwhile, traders of Montgomery road also announced to support PIAF-Founders Alliance candidates.

PIAF-Founders Alliance leaders Mian Misbah-ur-Rehman and Mian Shafqat Ali are also running campaign for Corporate Class leaders.

Renowned industrialist Muhammab Ibrahim is hosting a dinner in honor of PIAF-Founders Alliance candidate on September 12.

Textile industry growing even in economic, energy crisis: APTMA

LAHORE: Amir Fayyaz, head of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) committee on international trade, has said that the textile industry has shown its resilience through 30 per cent export growth even in economic and energy crisis.

Addressing an APTMA luncheon, Fayyaz pointed out that Pakistan is the most efficient value-added textile chain supplier in the world after China. “More opportunities including the expected GSP-Plus status from the European Union are knocking at the door,” he added.

The APTMA official claimed that Pakistan is nearing to get the GSP-Plus status as the European Commission’s technical team has given a positive assessment on Pakistan’s application. Pakistan is going to double its textile exports in the next four years from $13.1 billion to $26 billion and it is an achievable target, he said.

Fayyaz maintained that the rising cost of production in China is making it difficult for the Chinese to produce textile stuff. He informed the audience that the Chinese textile exports declined by $30 billion last year as most of the lost shares were captured by Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. He said, “The major reason for this transfer of market is that these countries are enjoying zero-rated facility on their exports.”

PTBA suggests changes in tax return draft

KARACHI: Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) has suggested several changes to the draft of Income Tax Return for Tax Year 2013.

The bar, in a letter, has urged Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Bajwa to rectify the illegal practice as rejecting income tax return without wealth statement is not permissible under the law.

PTBA President Munawwar Husaain Shaikh informed Tariq Bajwa that the income tax return couldn’t be filed on the automated system of the Pakistan Revenue Automated Pvt. Ltd (PRAL) without the prior submission of the wealth statement and settlement of Income Support Levy (ISL).

The bar said that the taxpayers had been demanding simplification of tax returns but regrettably it was not made in the new draft return. The bar also highlighted issues regarding correction in the draft income tax return including marginal relief, depreciation in Annexure A, and option of presumptive tax regime.

Sialkot exporters irked by flaws in WeBOC system

SIALKOT: All Pakistan Dry Ports Association (APDPA) Chairman Mohammad Ishaque Butt expressed his deep concern over the serious functional flaws in WeBOC (Web Based One Customs) system.

In a press statement, he said that due to long registration process, just 25 per cent exporters had yet been registered with WeBOC. The former FBR chairman, on his visit to Sialkot Dry Port Trust on March 1, approved the proposals forwarded by the APDPA including suggestions regarding elimination of bottlenecks and other shortcomings in the WeBOC system. The APDPA chairman said, “This is very unfortunate that FBR is not able to remove these flaws.”

He said that Customs Laws and Rules restricted the bonded carriers to use vehicles registered in the name of other bonded carriers with the Customs Department thereby causing somewhat monopolistic situation and exporters/importers might be penalised with excessive freight charges.

Moreover, he said, availability of registered vehicles at up-country dry ports were limited and lesser than the demand for exports and in One Customs system, up-country dry ports were using registered vehicles of other bonded carriers. Exports from Faisalabad and Multan will also be badly affected if rolled over to these dry ports and even at Karachi, where exports vehicles are received, there are a number of teething problems causing slowing down of the process added.

He also expressed his concern over the slow response by the FBR in conflict resolution which results in hoarding the containers at Sialkot Dry Port and a number of export consignments have already missed the vessels caused huge financial loss to the exporters and foreign exchange loss to the country.

He said Sialkot Dry Port Trust General Manager Khalid Butt and APDPA Secretary met with FBR Chairman, Customs Member and related officers of FBR on September 5, and apprised them about the gravity of the matter and discussed in detail the system flaws/shortcomings of WeBOC and necessary amendments in Custom Laws/Rules but besides promise of the FBR high-ups to resolve the issue within couple of days, the issues had not yet resolved resulting in stoppage of sizable exports from Sialkot.

Ishaque Butt and APDPA Chairman demanded that One Customs System be restored forthwith in parallel to WeBOC system till the rectification of issues with WeBOC and incorporation of necessary amendments to the system and Customs Laws/Rules.

PTAA wants postponement of new tax form

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tax Advisers Association (PTAA) has asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to postpone the draft amended income tax return form till 2014 as the form likely be finalised on Tuesday.

PTAA Chairman Javed Iqbal Qazi said that the FBR should extend the last date for submission of returns by at least 75 days to compensate the taxpayers. He said that the taxpayers and legal fraternity should not be ‘punished’ as the FBR did not discharge its duty in time.

The last date for submission of income tax return is September 30. The draft return form was issued on August 26 to seek comments from the taxpayers within 15 days.

The chairman said that the changes, made in section 114 and 116 of the income tax ordinance through Finance Act 2013, could not be applied retrospectively for tax year 2013. So the amendments pertain to tax year 2014 and not 2013, he added.

Govt urged to review FED on ship-breaking industry

KARACHI: A newly-constituted group of steel makers, Pakistan Steel Manufacturer Association (PSMA), has urged the government to review federal excise duty (FED) on the ship-breaking industry.

The PSMA members said that hike in power tariffs had further widened the price difference between steel products and other production created by the ship-breaking industry.

Amreli Steels Chief Executive Abbas Akberali said that the rise in electricity prices had also increased the rate of steel by at least Rs5,000 per tonne. He urged the government to impose an FED of at least Rs10,000 per tonne on ship-breaking products to cut down the price difference.

The current price of shredded scrap from smelters is Rs69,645 per tonne, as compared with the ship-breaking industry’s billets of Rs54,509 per tonne – a difference of Rs15,136 per tonne.

PIAF-Founders Alliance wins woman seat unopposed

LAHORE: PIAF-Founders Alliance won one seat reserved for women unopposed in LCCI elections as no other candidate filed the nomination papers against the Alliance candidate.

With this unopposed victory, the strength of the Alliance will reach 17 in the 32-member House, while the elections on remaining seats will be held on September 23 and 24 as per schedule.

According to Alliance election office, the last date for filing of nomination papers was September 4 and by that time only the Alliance candidate, Tahira Munir, filed papers therefore she would be considered winner.

Meanwhile, Lahore Township Industrial Area Association Chairman Nasrullah Mughal called on Alliance Chairman Mian Anjum Nisar and gave him an invitation for reception to PIAF-Founders Alliance in the industrial area.

Earlier, a large number of representatives of various local markets and trade associations called on Alliance leaders including Mian Anjum Nisar, Mian Muhammad Ashraf, Iftikhar Ali Malik and Malik Tahir Javaid and assured them of their full support during the upcoming LCCI elections.

Siraj Teli seeks foolproof security for business community

KARACHI: Businessmen Group Chairman and former KCCI president Siraj Kassam Teli demanded the Prime Minister of Pakistan to provide security and safety to the business and industrial community as well as the Karachiites from the criminal elements.

In a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif at Governor House Karachi, Kassam Teli said, “Karachi is a goose laying golden eggs and everyone wants to snatch these eggs whether it is an individual, political party, law enforcing agency, tax collecting agency or other group. The criminal and unscrupulous elements of the society want to kill this goose.”

Teli stated that the Businessmen Group of KCCI, representing over 90 per cent business and industrial communities of Karachi, had been constantly raising their voices and suggesting corrective measures to control law & order situation for the last many years, but in vain.

He lamented, “All the law enforcing agencies and the government of the day just keep on assuring the industrialists and traders but to no avail.” He demanded extraordinary measures to maintain law and order in the city.