Trade: (FPCCI demands immediate release of refunds)

ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Monday said government should improve exports and tax collection to keep deficit in limits as scaling down developmental budget by 24 percent in not in the national interest.

External sector should get attention it deserves while tax net should be broadened and smuggling should be contained, said Abdul Rauf Alam, President FPCCI.

In a statement issued here, he said refunds worth billions should be immediately released and textile sector should be preferred in it as it’s the backbone of the economy. He said trade relaxations will only work if the export environment is enabled which require provision of sustainable and low cost energy.

He said low oil prices and remittances have helped country a lot but development is linked to exports otherwise forex reserves will come under pressure.

Lauding the statement of finance minister Ishaq Dar in which he ruled out another IMF programme, he said that government should focus on value addition, expedite import of LNG and establishment of new terminals and try to import gas from Iran as soon as possible.

Rauf Alam said that the trade policy is a good initiative which must be implemented in letter and spirit without wasting any time.