Cost of doing business increased manifold: PIAF

Salim Ahmed

Lahore

The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) has said that the cost of doing business has increased manifold, leading to constant decline in exports due to the flawed policies of the government.
PIAF acting chairman Tanveer Ahmed Sufi in a statement on Saturday said the value added industry is contributing its role in national exports but increased cost of doing business is hurting industry which must be curtailed to get maximum share for the country’s economy, he added.
Sufi highlighted that gas tariff per MMBTU in dollar terms in Bangladesh is $3.35; in India is $4.66 and in Vietnam is $6 and in Pakistan $7.59 (including Rs.200 GIDC (Gas Infrastructure Development Cess) which is 126 percent higher than Bangladesh; 62.87 percent higher than India and 26.5 percent higher than Vietnam.
Commenting on electricity tariff. he stated that electricity tariff per KHW in Bangladesh is $0.09; in India is $0.09 and in Vietnam is $0.08 and in Pakistan is $0.11 which is 22.2 percent higher than Bangladesh & India and 37.5 percent higher than Vietnam. Therefore he demanded that gas tariff for export industry should be reduced at least by 10 percent less than of tariff of regional countries.
He emphasized that reduction in inputs is the long awaited demand of the value added industry to make competitive the Pakistani exporters in the international market because minimum wage in Pakistan is 111 percent higher than Bangladesh (Pakistan US $144 and Bangladesh US $68). Hence, 20 percent reduction will make Pakistani exporters viable to compete with regional competitors. He said that the declining trend in export has added burden on the national economy and we must provide necessary incentives to the export sector in addition to introducing proactive export friendly policies.
Tanveer Ahmed Sufi said that the export of value added textile sector has declined from $3.2 billion to $2.5 billion. In this scenario, the government agencies are creating harassment among exporters by sending them a series of notices, he said.
The government should merge all taxes, duties and contribution etc and introduce “one window operation” for the onetime payment of all dues, suggested.

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