ISLAMABAD: The government has stated that there would be a shortfall of 7 million bales of cotton as total production is now estimated at 8 million bales against the requirement of 15 million bales, which may have a negative impact on textile exports, reported Business Recorder.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile, chaired by Syed Naveed Qamar, met here on Friday to receive a briefing on the GSP Plus status, sales tax refunds and estimate of cotton production in the current fiscal year. The meeting was told by Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood that as per revised estimates, a shortfall of 7 million bales is expected. The country’s requirement is 15 million bales.

According ot the media report, the committee has asked the chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to turn up in the next meeting to provide details of refunds data as well as quantum of tax collected on local sale of zero-rated sectors after senior tax officials failed to provide any data to the committee.

On the issue of refunds, some members said that exporters, especially textile exporters, are facing problems in production due to non-payment of their refunds. Upon this, the FBR representatives stated that out of Rs 4.8 billion refund claims, Rs 2.02 billion has already been paid to exporters.

The adviser on commerce acknowledged that FBR refund claim form is quite complicated but stated that although it is difficult yet if the information is provided, it would plug the fake refund claims. However, he stated that he has asked the FBR to make refund claim form easier.

The meeting was informed about the delay in scheduled meeting on GSP Plus with the European Union in December 2019. Dawood added that four out of the 10 conventions for GSP Plus have not been met but appeared confident in getting extension in GSP Plus status as there are positive signs from the EU. However, he underscored the need for showing no complacency, according to the report.