Senate Standing Committee reviews performance of Commerce and Textile sector

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Islamabad : Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile Senator Syed Shibli Faraz on Tuesday said instead of giving temporary measures or incentives to boost trade and export the government should prepare long term export oriented and integrated policies.
Addressing the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Teatime he said that incentives are temporary measures therefore the government should adopt sustainable policies.Expressing concern on increasing trade deficit, Senator Shibli Faraz said research and development department in Ministry of Commerce and Textile should be established to improve exports with quality goods.Secretary Commerce Muhammad Younus Dhaga giving detailed report on the implementation on the recommendations of the Committee assures that the Commerce Ministry has been making sincere efforts to implement these recommendations. He informed the Committee that a special incentive of Prime Minister for improving export with Rs 180 billion has been announced which has been giving positive results.The Committee was informed that Commerce Ministry is also launched a programme to improve branding and packages to improve exports.Regarding Free Trade Agreement with China,the Committee was informed that it was in favour of China and negotiations are going on to have some incentives for Pakistan to reduce trade gap between two countries. The Committee was informed that negotiations for signing FTA with Turkey and Thailand are in progress and Secretary Commerce expressed the hope that FTA with these countries will be in better position for Pakistan.The Committee was also informed that revision of FTA with Indonesia is also in progress. The Committee was also informed that PTA was proposed by Pakistan with Afghanistan but there is no positive response from Afghanistan in this regard so far as Afghanistan is under the influence of India and Afghan government is not in a position to take any bilateral decision with Pakistan.Chairman of the Committee Senator Shibli Faraz directed the officials of the Ministry of Commerce to explore the South American and African markets as there is great chance for Pakistan to enhance its exports to this region.The Committee was informed that at present Pakistan is at 147th number in the world foe ease of doing business and efforts are being made to improve this situation. Regarding visa policy of Pakistan, foreign office representative informed the Committee that previously Pakistan was issuing multiple visa to Japanese investors but after new laws now single entry and for specific period of time visa is being issued to Japanese which has been hammering the business relationship between two countries. The Committee recommended that there should be liberal policy for visa to the business community especially for Japan.The Committee was informed that over 4000 Japanese got visa for Pakistan every year and out of them more than 51 percent are related to business purposes. The committee was also informed that import from Japan is over US dollars 2.5 billion while Pakistan ‘s export is US dollars 365 million annually. The Committee was informed that due to change of status of Pakistan from Least Developed Countries now Pakistan to face more tarrif on its export of textile products while Bangla Desh and many other countries are enjoying concessions. The Committee was also informed by the officials of Federal Board of Revenue that strict measures have been taken to curb smuggling at Pak Iran border. The Committee was informed that in 2014-2015 the total seizure of goods at Pak Iran border was Rs. 9.5 billion which has increased to Rs. 2.5 billion in just six months of this year due to effective check by Anti-smuggling unit of FBR and other departments.The Committee was informed that Chinese Banks have been giving loans to Chinese companies directly and they are importing machinery into Pakistan The Committee was informed that by 2020 after the completion of CPEC projects Pakistan will start repayment of these loans and required to pay US dollars 3 to 4 billion annually. The Committee was informed that with the efforts of Trade Development Authority the exports of dates from Baruch Istanbul has been increased from US dollars 150 million to US dollars 150 million in last one year. The committee was also informed that E-commerce system will be finalised by next month.The Committee was informed that out of its 63 recommendations, 52 have been implemented and 11 will be implemented very soon.

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