EDF failed to meet objectives, hurting textile sector: PEW

Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday said Export Development Fund (EDF) has failed to achieve its objective of boosting country’s exports therefore it should be streamlined or abolished.

The EDF imposed fifteen years ago could not trigger exports but hit the largest urban employment provider and export earner sector of textiles hard since introduction.

Textile sector contributes about six billion rupees (around 55 percent) to the EDF annually but what it gets in return are few million or almost 1.5 percent, it said.

The commerce ministry which was supposed to get all the funds collected under EDF usually gets around one billion rupees which frustrate its plans to improve exports, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Commerce ministry after receiving funds allocates a sizable amount to business leaders who allegedly use it to increase their influence and buy loyalties, he added.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that EDF is misused at all levels and some business leaders use it to finance free foreign trips of loyalists under the pretext of promoting exports.

This tendency would continue unless a system of transparency and accountability is put in place, he said, adding that a list of blue-eyed is being prepared to attend expos in Europe on the expanse of public exchequer.

Frequent visits of those who have nothing to do with exports has brought a bad name of Pakistan and left all such expos counterproductive.

Textile sector facing problems like political uncertainty, lawlessness, extortion, energy crisis, currency manipulation, delayed refunds is hardest hit but the EDF therefore it should be abolished or distributed on merit, he demanded.

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