Withdrawal of zero-rated regime disastrous for economy: Altaf Shakoor


Karachi: Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor here Tuesday said the withdrawal of the zero-rated regime for five export-oriented sectors would be a disaster for Pakistani economy and the government should take very careful and calculated decision in this regard, keeping the vital national interests in mind. He said the economic mantra of the new government was to boost exports. He said it was claimed that the rupee depreciation was aimed at also to boost the exports. He regretted that the same government on alleged pressure of the IMF is going to withdraw the zero-rated facility for selected export sectors – value added textile, sports goods, surgical, leather and carpet – which would deal a deadly blow to our industry, economy and employment. Altaf Shakoor said that the economic policies of the PTI government have, so far, failed to deliver. The Economic Survey report depicts a dismal picture of the economy, with large sectors posting negative growth and next year’s target for total GDP growth being a paltry 4 percent. He said instead of revenue generation through production and industry the government is focusing on indirect means like amnesty schemes which may not augment the shaky foundations of our national economy. Altaf Shakoor said the unprecedented depreciation of Pakistani rupee, neck-break inflation, burden of new taxes, less spending on social sector and now even more foreign loans are affecting the lives of millions of Pakistanis and increasing poverty and hunger in the country.He said growing anger in Pakistani masses and the start protests of the oppositions, lawyers and civil society have already been a great threat to the political stability of this country. He advised the government not to evoke the anger of traders and industrialists by withdrawing zero-regime for five export-related sectors, and slapping more taxes on them. He reminded that the leaders of export oriented industries have already warned that “discontinuation of zero-rated status will result in ruin and disaster of export-oriented industries, flight of capital, mass unemployment and huge foreign exchange losses.”Altaf Shakoor said the government should utilize untapped sectors like agriculture in semi-arid areas, mining and minerals, fisheries, tourism, and above all educating and training mammoth manpower. He said if Pakistani manpower is properly trained it could earn trillions of dollars by working in foreign countries that badly need trained manpower in industry and services sectors. He said for this we should overhaul our outdated educated system and opening new technical training and vocational centers in every district of the country. He said if the government took the harsh decision under the alleged pressure of the IMF to withdraw the facilities given to the export sector, it would open new floodgates of joblessness in Pakistan, as hundreds of export-oriented units would be ultimately closed down, which would be a bad omen for Pakistan and its economy. He said we appeal to the Prime Minister Imran Khan to give more facilities and privileges to export industries, like reducing fuel tariffs for them. He said PDP has always supported the national cause and it would fully support the just demands of industrialists of the exports-oriented sector.