Karachi, February 13, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the attention of Masood Iqbal and Chelaram K.K the chairman and vice chairman of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) to the exorbitant increase in renewal of membership fees from Rupees 3000 to Rs 14000 and urged them to reconsider the increase to enable the SME rice exporters to continue their membership.
President UNISAME pointed out that the almost 350% increase in renewal fees and 100% increase in web hosting and maintenance fees from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 is beyond comprehension and no other trade association has fixed or increased this kind of fees for its members.
He said REAP should not take advantage of the mandatory membership requirement and comprehend the fact that even the renewal fees of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CC and I) is only Rs 2100 and warned REAP that if they do not revise the membership fees the SME rice exporters will be compelled to seek remedy from the ministry of commerce (Mincom) for removal of the mandatory membership clause and urged the Mincom to accept the membership of the CC and I as sufficient for rice exporters.
Thaver said he failed to understand the reason for making REAP membership mandatory as most of the SME rice exporters are also exporting maize, wheat, spices, sugar, salt and several other commodities and are members of the CC and I since many years.
It is unwise to compel them to become members of REAP when they are members of the CC and I and have obtained the membership on the basis of their registration by providing copies of their income tax returns and National Identity Cards (NIC) and other related documents.
When a member applies for CC and I membership he /she needs to be introduced by 2 members of the CC and I and in case of any complaint of disappearance of the member the introducing members are contacted for the members whereabouts.
All over the world the membership of the respective CC and I is considered sufficient for the trading license and Pakistan should also follow the same practice rather than patronize any trade association with this privilege of mandatory membership and make them dominating.
It is believed that the big rice exporters are deliberately trying to keep the SME rice exporters away from membership and are ill advising the REAP managing committee (MC) to take such decisions which would indirectly support the rice cartel formed by the big exporters.
The rice export business is now in the hands of a handful of big rice exporters who are manipulating, hoarding, smuggling and influencing the rice millers. The SME rice exporters are facing difficulties as banks are financing the big exporters and supporting them to purchase huge quantities on arrival of new crop under export refinance scheme by pledging the goods whereas demanding immoveable property collateral from the SMEs.
The SME rice exporters who are adding value to the grains by processing, polishing and packing the rice are demanding level playing field and urged the Mincom to facilitate them equitably.
For more information, Contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Phones: + 92 35884225 and 6
Cell: + 92 300 8245307 and + 92 321 8245307
Fax: + 92 35380642
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