TDAP’s performance on regress: exporters

In a scathing criticism on the annual performance of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), exporters have said that the export promoting agency has fallen to an event management company under its incumbent Chief Executive SM Muneer.

Talking to media former FPCCI Vice President Riaz Khattak said the TDAP has lost its relevance, as it was not facilitating exports. The TDAP, during the last few years, the organisation has turned from being an export promotion agency into an event management company.

He said the TDAP has failed to deliver on its mandate mainly because of wrong priorities and changing export patterns over the years.

Before announcing exporters incentives package for textile sector last month, PM Nawaz showed displeasure over decline in the exports for the last three years.

Official data shows the government allocated has Rs1.1 billion for TDAP in 2015-16. About Rs750 million, or 68 percent of the total budget, was spent on salaries and managing the offices of the TDAP. The operational budget for the export promotion was just Rs 350 million, 32 percent of the total budget, in the last fiscal year.

The breakup of the development budget reveals that Rs 315 million, which is 90 percent of the development expenditure, was spent on holding more than 115 exhibitions abroad in the last fiscal year. Only Rs 35 million, or 10 percent of the total development budget, was spent on export promotion functions in the domestic market. The uneven allocation of the development budget for external and internal markets has created a vested interest for employees, Khattak said.

The TDAP has more than 1,000 employees. Only 50 of them are directly involved in holding exhibitions abroad. This means 90 percent of the development budget is spent through only 5 percent of employees. “This is why most employees try to become part of the exhibition department”, Khattak added.

Additionally, the authority spent Rs650m from the Export Development Fund (EDF) on three exhibitions – Aalishan Pakistan (Rs250m), visits of Caravans to Central Asian States (Rs150m) and Expo-Pakistan (Rs250m), sources said.




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