Sustainability of economic growth is a major challenge for the government after stabilising and improving the economic indicators, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood.

Addressing the business community at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Saturday, he announced that a series of meetings have been proposed in this regard with relevant stakeholders immediately after Eid.

“One of the meetings will be held with Prime Minister Imran Khan so that exporters can highlight their core issues directly with the premier,” he said.

The adviser said that Pakistan’s economy was moving in the right direction and industry was reporting phenomenal growth.

During the last three years, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government attained growth targets and now the challenge is to ensure sustainability of economic growth, he added.

Dispelling the impression that exporters were continuously demanding more incentives, he said that market conditions were changing and new challenges were emerging.

“We have to handle the hurdles with wisdom and prudence in the fast changing business environment,” he said.

Citing figures, the adviser said that export jumped to $31 billion in the previous fiscal year and lion’s share in this amount was contributed by the textile sector.

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Talking about the tariff rationalisation measures, he pointed out that duty on various textile inputs including raw cotton, nylon, acrylic, viscos, wool, flock and hemp has been reduced to zero.

These measures have enabled exporters to explore new markets and he voiced support for continuation of tariff rationalisation in the coming years.

“Nearly 40% of our inputs are imported and levies on them have been eliminated,” he said and gave examples of engineering, pharmaceutical and footwear sectors.

Dawood recalled meeting Prime Minister Imran Khan and Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin to discuss the issue in detail.

Talking about inflation, Dawood termed it a major issue for the elected government.

He said that the prime minister will fix export targets for the next financial year in an upcoming meeting. A separate meeting will also be held with the finance minister to resolve the issue of availability of yarn, he revealed.

“A policy has been prepared for payment of duty drawback of local taxes and levies (DLTL) and it was intentionally ignored in the current budget because it will be finalised after meeting with the finance minister,” he said. The adviser lamented the acute dearth of manufacturing units for shirts, suits and lady garments in Pakistan. He urged the exporters to focus on these sectors and assured complete support from the government in this regard.

He was of the view by tapping these segments, the total exports of Pakistan could jump to $200 billion within the next couple of years.

Discussing the manufacturing of mobile phones in Pakistan, he said that the country would begin their exports next year.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2021.

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