Karachi: The leather sector cannot benefit from the duty-free access to EU market under Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) unless the government resolves the long time pending issues including slapping a ban on livestock export, refund stuck-up claims, resolves energy crisis, etc.
Chairman, Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) South Zone, Hamid A Zahoor while demanding complete ban on export of livestock said that contrary to the huge potential of leather products, exports of the leather industry have remained stagnant at $1.22 billion for the last six years, said PTA chief insisting that just a bit of support from the Ministry of Commerce can push exports to $3 billion in three years and make the industry the second biggest after textiles.
In its proposals for trade policy as well as budget 2015-16 presented a copy of which sent to the FBR, the PTA has demanded the government to also curb massive smuggling through the borders in the garb of export.
Hamid Zahoor, while endorsing the PTA’s budget proposals, asked the government to include hides and skins in 6th Schedule of Sales Tax Act 1990, besides reducing custom duty on basic leather chemicals.
The PTA chief also requested the TDAP chief to make strong recommendation for inclusion of PTA’s proposal for budget and trade policy for the year 2015-16.
He demanded the release of pending Sales Tax claims of PTA’s members, saying that a significant ratio of working capital of leather exporters is stuck-up in refund regime at a time when the leather export has already declined by over 17 percent during the last six years from $1.22 billion in FY 2007-08 to $1.01 billion in 2012-13 and even down to 5 percent in 2014-15. The growth rate of leather sector exports was in minus and exports reduced to 14 percent as against positive growth in the region with 47 percent, 40 percent, and 102 percent in China, India and Bangladesh, respectively during the last fiscal year.
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