APTMA lashes out against govt, threatens protest

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KARACHI

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) will commence protest against the government for neglecting the textile sector in the last budget announced by Ishaq Dar on May 28.

During a press conference at APTMA house Karachi on Saturday, APTMA’s Sindh-Balochistan Chairperson Zahid Mazhar said he has demanded to abolish the surcharge of Rs 3.63 on electricity and the gas infrastructure development cess, levied on the textile sector.

Moreover, a senior member of APTMA, Yaseen Siddique, said the package of Rs 180 billion announced by the Prime Minister in December 2016 should be transferred to them. He said the government has announced this package but it was not transferred to them. Meanwhile the government has also paid billions of rupees in rebates against the textile sector.

The association members threatened of protest if new taxes levied in the budget are not abolished immediately.

APTMA’s leaders were of the view that the textile exports of the country are declining throughout the world as we are unable to compete with international products against ours. Our products are much expensive compared to products from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and other South Asian nations.

On the other side, in Lahore, APTMA Chairperson Amir Fayyaz said they would close all the mills and observe Black Day on Tuesday (June 20th).

While addressing a news conference, Fayyaz said they have taken the decision as the government has neither handed over the announced package of Rs 180 billion nor has it provided cheap electricity.

The budget is a sheer disappointment for the textile sector, as the government has allocated only Rs 4 billion against a total textile package of Rs 180 billion, said Aamir Fayyaz. He said that it was also a matter of prime minister’s credibility who announced the package but the finance ministry allocated only Rs 4 billion.

However, just after six months, the finance ministry partially withdrew the package by again increasing duties and taxes on the import of cotton for the sake of Rs 10 billion revenues.

Exports have diminished, while no new [packages] have been announced in the budget, he said. “Instead, new taxes have been levied on the sector.”

He said Vietnam, Bangladesh and India have left Pakistan behind in providing relief to the textile sector.

On the other hand All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA). Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Zone has rejected federal budget 2017-18 and called for an announcement of relief package for the industry to save the sector and thousands of its labourers.

Addressing a press conference in Peshawar at APTMA House on Saturday Chairman, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Zone Taimoor Shah, lamented that before the announcement of budget, Federal Minister for Finance, Ishaq Dar committed himself to the allocation of Rs 180 billion for Prime Minister export led growth package for payments of drawbacks on taxes to exporters on realization of export proceeds. But, in the budget, he announced a meager amount of only Rs 4 billion.

Former president, Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), chairman APTMA, Afan Aziz, Kamran Shah and others also flanked him on the occasion.

Taimoor Shah said that refund cases of millions of rupees of the textile sector are struck off but on the other hand the government is imposing new taxes and surcharges on them, which is badly affecting the industry.

He said that textile up-gradation fund announced by the government in 2011-12 is yet to be release.

Expressing concern over the growing tariff of electricity, Taimoor Shah said that the rate of electricity during precious government was Rs 7 per unit, which had now reached to Rs 13 per unit irrespective of record decline in the prices of oil in world market. In such a situation, how can they compete with their competitors in world market?

Similarly, he said that in the Finance Act 2017, the government has also increased the rate of Minimum Turnover Tax under Section 113 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 from 1pc to 1.25pc. He called for reducing Minimum Turnover Tax to 0.25pc to improve liquidity of the loss making textile industry.  Furthermore, he said that the imposition of further tax at 1pc on supplies to unregistered persons had caused multiplier effect on the disintegrated textile value chain,

He said that the end users do not pay this additional tax and the industry is burdened with additional cost on local sales which finally ends up in exports. Therefore, he demanded the exemption of five exporting zero rated sectors from the levy of further tax to reduce cost of doing business.

Taimoor Shah also called for making indirect exports eligible under LTFF Scheme and allowing the utilization of the facility for building of infrastructure for garment plants.