MULTAN: Alliance of Recognised Chambers & Association of Southern Punjab (ARCA)’s convener Khawaja Muhammad Yousaf has announced to part ways with APTMA.
Khawaja Muhammad Yousaf urged upon the government to take all the export-sectors into confidence on the issue of zero rating regime for five sectors. He said that there are more than 15 associations in textile sector. Since APTMA was not a recognised body, government should not invite them alone for talk on the issue of zero rating regime while it was hurting not only the textile but also value added sector of textiles, leather, carpet, sports goods, and surgical goods.
He made it clear that all the five export sectors would not accept even one percent of sales tax and withdrawal of subsidy on gas and electricity because government failed to make payments against the refunds of Rs 139 billion during last decade.
ARCA convener rejected the negotiations between the Government and Gohar Ijaz group of APTMA describing it a betrayal to export industry. He said that associations of the five zero rated export sectors did not give mandate to anybody to negotiate on their behalf. Hence, he appealed to the Federal government to hold talks only with those people who truly represent these sectors. He also said that during a recent meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, the representatives warned that imposition of sales tax on zero rated sectors will have devastating impact on small and medium exporters.
“In the past twice these sectors had to bear similar actions and if it again imposed for the third time the result will be a complete disaster,” he added. Khawaja Yousaf warned that if the government withdrew the status of zero-rate on value added textile, carpet, leather, sports goods and surgical goods sectors then they will not be able to continue their businesses which may cause rendering millions of workers jobless, forcing them to stage street agitations against this decision.
Khawaja Yousaf feared that the abolition of the zero-rating facility for the five industries — textiles, leather, surgical instruments, carpets and sports goods — would lead to accumulation of refunds with the FBR, causing liquidity problems for them, and entail withdrawal of subsidy given earlier this year on electricity and gas rates to make (zero-rated) exports from the province competitive in international markets. ARCA chief categorically rejected the fixation of Gas price at $6.5 per mmbtu for the exporters from Punjab. He said they just want continuation of the zero-rating status and reduced energy prices to boost exports.