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Trade policy on leather sector receives mixed reactions

28
Jul '09
The leather sector which has been reeling from the impact of the economic crisis, welcomed the three year trade policy (2009-12), but said that the sector had not received any incentives despite the fact that exports from the sector had fallen by 29 percent in the previous fiscal year.

According to statistical export figures, shipments from the country had fallen to US $17.8 billion in 2008-09 from $19 billion in 2007-08, down by 7 percent, while imports also dipped from $40 billion to $34.8 billion, a negative growth of 13 percent.

The Chairman of Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PLGMEA), Mr Fawad Ejaz said the main difference of this trade policy is that like former policies it is not overly textile centric.

As per the trade policy for the leather sector, government would release funds for research and product development to hire experts, which will help a lot in improving exports and has set a target to achieve 6 percent growth in the current fiscal.

The Chairman of Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), Sheikh Afzaal Hussain, however said that trade policy is hopeless for the leather sector and said we had put forward various proposals before the commerce ministry but none were addressed in the policy despite various assurances.

Our foremost demand is to provide rebate on exports which other competitor countries enjoy and the rebate is as high as 15 per cent on all leather product exports and what we get is less than one per cent rebate from the government, he added by saying.

He also expressed the hope that the government would consider their demand to reduce duty on the import of certain chemicals used in leather industry which is still as high as 20 per cent and that high power tariffs was also a matter of concern.


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