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Inflated rice export prices erode competition in global market

Inflated rice export prices erode competition in global market

KARACHI: The price of export of rice is very high. Competition is eroding in International market due to non-availability of sound containers for rice, increasing container terminal charges, poor services, delay in refund claims on Sale tax paid by the rice exporters on their electricity bills, development of infrastructure from Export Development Fund (EDF) for continuous power supply and fuel adjustment charges due to reduction in POL prices in international market.

This was highlighted by the rice exports while discussing the problems faced in the process of rice export with President FPCCI Zakariya Usman at FPCCI today. The delegation of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) led by its Chairman Rafique Suleman held a meeting with its President, Mr. Zakaria Usman and highlighted various problems responsible for Khurram Sayeed and Ismail Sattar, Vice Presidents of FPCCI, Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Customs and others were also present on the occasion.

The FPCCI Chief, Zakaria Usman responding to the poor services extended by the container terminal operators (CTOs) during examination of goods by Anti Narcotic Force (ANF) at ports informed that FPCCI had recently organized two joint meetings of all the stakeholders involved in these processes at ports viz Traders; Regional Directorate of ANF; Port Operating Companies (KICT, PICT and QICT); KPT; PQA, SBP etc., wherein it was mutually decided that CTOs would either hire sufficient trained and skilled manpower for improvement in their services or outsource it to a third party having professional expertise in re-packing of goods and re-stuffing in containers.

Regarding problems related to export proceeds and charging of different freight rates at different rupee-dollar parity rates by each shipping company due to non monitoring of Foreign Exchange Policy by the State Bank of Pakistan, the FPCCI President invited the REAP delegation to prepare its proposals and take them-up in the meeting with the Governor SBP who is scheduled to visit FPCCI shortly. He also urged the shipping companies to reduce the containers charges for rice as it is a low value and high volume item as compared to other value added goods like textile etc.

In response to charging GST on electricity bills of rice exporters, Zakaria Usman advised the REAP members to prepare a comprehensive proposal for including rice as a traditional item in zero rated sales tax regime like textile, leather, surgical goods, sports goods and carpet industrial sub-sectors. The FPCCI President further asked the delegation to prepare its proposal for seeking financial assistance from EDF for the development of dedicated line from K-Electric feeder to their cluster area to ensure smooth supply of power.