Govt announces Rs 180 billion package to boost exports

* 18-month plan envisages abolition of customs duty and sales tax on import of cotton, man-made fiber other than polyester and the textile machinery

Govt announces Rs 180 billion package to boost exports

ISLAMABAD: The government has announced the country's biggest export package worth Rs 180 billion to enhance foreign trade. The package envisages abolition of customs duty and sales tax on import of cotton. Similarly, customs duty on man-made fibre rather than polyester and sales tax on import of textile machinery has also been abolished.

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% respectively. This package will continue for the period of 18 months from 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2018. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that the package would help achieve the objective of export-led growth while announcing trade enhancement initiatives at the Prime Minister House.

There were many challenges including terrorism, lawlessness, energy shortage, poverty and unemployment when the present government assumed power. He said his government took bold measures to face these challenges and an all round improvement was visible.

The prime minister said dozens of power plants are being installed under the CPEC project, and many others besides were being financed by the government of Pakistan. He further stated that 10,000 MW of electricity would be added to the system by next year and 30,000 MW within the next few years.

Nawaz Sharif said the Government decided to fund Bhasha Dam from its own resources which would generate 4,500 MW of electricity. He said its power house would be built under CPEC. "Pakistan Railways is also being revamped and upgraded with an investment of $8 billion," he added. The premier said that the improvement plan envisages halving the distance between Karachi and Peshawar.

He said his Government had announced a package for agriculture and today a package for industry had also been provided. He hoped that development of these sectors would help overcome problems like unemployment, illiteracy and poverty and put Pakistan on the fast track to success.

In his speech, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the Prime Minister has accepted all demands of the business community. "Government is providing liberal incentives to the business community and it is now the responsibility of the exporters to increase the exports significantly", he added.

After announcement of package from Prime Minister, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir while addressing to media said that this was the country's biggest trade enhancement package announced by the premier and most of the incentives were related to the country's exports.

The trade minister said that those exporters could avail this opportunity whose exports would be more than 10 percent in fiscal year 2017-18 comparable to 2016-17. "We are hoping for a $3 billion dollar increase in two years after implementation of this package" Dastgir added. Khurram Dastgir further stated that banking relations would be reinstated with Iran in the next ten days and this would help the government boost the country's exports.