SIALKOT: Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry SCCI and all the other main trade bodies of Sialkot have strongly rejected the SRO 505 by the Federal Board of Revenue FBR and have termed this SRO as a conspiracy to ruin the export-oriented cottage industries of Sialkot.
Addressing an important joint press conference at SCCI Auditorium here, the heads and representatives of Sialkot’s all the main trade bodies strongly criticized the FBR for this SRO and demanded the immediate withdrawal of it, which would be implemented in October 2013 by the FBR.
SCCI President Sheikh Abdul Majid told the newsmen that the Sialkot business community has strongly rejected the SRO 505 and has demanded the FBR to ensure its early withdrawal to save the export-oriented cottage industries of Sialkot, saying that the Sialkot was the only export-oriented city of Pakistan and SRO 505 could never be implemented by the export-oriented cottage industries of Sialkot.
He said that the FBR had announced to start implementation on this SRO from October 2013. He expressed grave concern over this situation and said that the government was not making the good decisions on good time. He said that SRO 505, if implemented, would definitely increase the cost of production from 8 to 10 percent, which would badly hit the cottage industries of Sialkot. He said that the perturbed Sialkot industrialists and exporters would be forced to close down their business as a protest against this crucial act.
SCCI President alleged that government was totally ignoring Sialkot exporters’ repeated appeals of “mercy” in this regard. He said that the said SRO would prove a cut throat for the export-oriented cottage industries of Sialkot which had already been affected badly by the prolonged energy crisis.
SCCI President Sheikh Abdul Majid revealed that the Sialkot based industrialists and exporters would also have to play the role of the “tax collectors”, if this SRO is implemented by FBR. SCCI President was of the view that implementation of SRO 505 and 98 had enhanced the cost of production by 8 to 10 percent. He declared Sialkot exporters as “Sales Tax Withholding Agent” in the light of SRO 505, which would render the businesses uncompetitive in the international market and our export sector would lose its share to its regional competitors.
He strongly criticized , what he said, the “non serious attitude” of the FBR, in this regard and said that the cottage industries of Sialkot would collapse in October 2013 after the implementation of SRO 505 by FBR and Sialkot’s annual exports to the tune of US $ 1.5 billion would also come to a halt.
“They are not serious to resolve the prolonged perturbing problems of cottage industries of Sialkot”, SCCI President added. The House unanimously resolved that if immediate corrective measures were not taken by the Government, the export industry of Sialkot would close down, that would be irreparable damage to the economy of the country, which must be avoided at all costs.
On this occasion, the Sialkot’s all the main trade bodies gave “SOS call” to the federal government, urging to save the Sialkot industries from collapsing by the SRO 505.
They also announced to move to the court, if the SRO 505 is not withdrawn by the FBR.
The meeting also expressed concern on nonresponsive attitude of the federal government and its alleged lack of interest to safeguard interest of the Sialkot’s export sector that is fighting hard against all odds to survive in the most hostile conditions prevailing in the country. Energy crisis, law and order situation, unprecedented inflation and other issues have already damaged the economic and business activity in the country. The perturbed Sialkot exporters narrated that it was their firm conviction that present government was most “business friendly” but the state of affairs cannot be termed friendly.
Sialkot’s all the main trade bodies , on this occasion, urged the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar to save the exporters by excluding them from category being Individual, AOP and Company” from the ambit of Sales Tax Withholding Special Procedure Rules, 2007 under SRO 98 and 505.
The meeting also declared that the SROs 505I/2013 and 98I/2013 were negatively affecting export industry of Sialkot.
Chairman Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association PSGMEA Muhammad Iqbal Saleemi, Chairman Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association of Pakistan SIMAP Muhammad Bilal Tanveer, general secretary SIMAP Muhammad Amjad, Chairman Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association PRGMEA North Zone Mir Muhammad Farooq Meyer, Chairman Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers and Exporters Association PGMEA Khurram Azeem Khan, Vice Chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association PHMA Muhammad Rafi Sony and officials of Sialkot Tax Bar Association also attended the meeting.