The Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) has called for promoting industrialization and enhancing exports through lowering cost of production, paying early refunds to solve liquidity crunch and relaxing import policy for industrial raw material. PHMA Zonal Chairman Faisal Mehboob Sheikh and chief coordinator Adil Butt, in a joint statement issued here on Thursday, stressed the need for revival of SRO 1125, reintroducing the system of No Payment No Refund of Sales Tax for the five export-oriented sectors. All stuck up claims of exporters Customs Rebates Sale Tax rebates should be released, as the liquidity crunch is a major stumbling block in the way of improving exports. Faisal Mehboob Sheikh said that economic scenario has totally changed due to coronavirus pandemic and its impact on industrial sector is now visible in the country, he said. So, the revival of zero rated regime was the only remedy for exports of the country, adding that government must announce previous system “No Payment No Refund” to sustain export sector of the country. He said that business community was facing tough challenges because of limited business. In this context, he sought attention of the government for formulation of regional, provincial and central level task force, and formulation of sector wise regional policies which would help the government address the problems confronted by exporters. Apparel industry should be allowed to import fabric under SRO 492 scheme as weaving industry of Pakistan is unable to fulfill the demands of fashion wear. It is proposed that cotton yarn, the major raw material of the apparel sector should be exempted from all duties and taxes to encourage value addition. PHMA zonal chief suggested that One Window Operation should be introduced for the replacing the lengthy procedures that involve interaction of manufacturers with various agencies. The government agencies were harassing the textile industry every day. Social Security, EOBI and other taxes should be merged and deducted at the source. PHMA chief coordinator Adil Butt asked the government to appreciate the role of value-added apparel sector for its potential to harvest maximum benefits of GSP Plus, providing mass employment to the jobless population of the country. He also sought government’s attention for formulating aggressive marketing plan and hurdle-free policies as well as urgent decisions in favour of exports while taking on board major stakeholders. Adil Butt called for concerted efforts for exploring new markets both traditional and non-traditional in order to introduce home made products. He urged the government to announce favorable policies and allow duty-free import of raw material and accessories. This move will attract investors and help in setting up new industries in the country which will create wide opportunities for employment. We direly need a stimulus economic plan coupled with relief package by the government to maximize production, and fill the gap created by Covid-19. He also emphasized the need for seeking technical knowhow from China and other countries for the sake of innovation, and improvement of products. Reforms vital for sustainable economic growth: PIAF Chairman Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Mian Nauman Kabir has said the sustainable solution to Pakistan’s problems lies in reforms, as we can see very large inefficiencies in tax collection. So, the tax compliance must be improved and tax base be broadened. This cannot be achieved with a single policy change, but by a systemic approach, he added. He observed the government preferred direct taxation to meet revenue shortfall as opposed to resorting to increasing indirect taxes because direct taxes tend to be more progressive in nature, therefore, the burden on the lower income strata of the population is lesser. In a joint statement along with vice chairman Javed Siddiqi here on Thursday, Mian Nauman Kabir emphasized that concentrating on import substitution is imperative to narrow import bills and certain imported products such as oil are of a fixed nature, therefore, the government needs to enhance focus on import substitution industries, as chemicals, agriculture and steel are potential industries. He said that undertaking structural reforms require political will. He said that enacting structural reforms, such as improvements in tax collection system, bureaucracy and ease of doing business requires major political will and strict implementation of policies, he added. The chairman PIAF stressed the need for reforms, with a keen focus on value-addition for a sustainable economic growth, recommending the government to raise exports to double digit of the GDP, as Pakistan’s exports have bounced back after witnessing decline. PIAF vice chairman Javed Siddiqi stressed that focus should be on promoting exports and restricting imports alongside making domestic industry more competitive and subsequently expand its export market. He said that exports of goods and services are an injection into the circular flow of income leading to a rise in aggregate demand and an expansion of output, helping raise per capita incomes and reduce extreme poverty especially in developing economies like Pakistan.