Karachi, February 17, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) urged the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to take notice of the difficulties of the SME rice exporters and make efforts to make doing business easy for the SME rice exporters.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said besides terrible law and order situation, unannounced load shedding, irregular supply of water and low gas supplies to the SME units the SME rice exporters and processors are facing a hard time.
This year the yield per acre is less than last year due to late water supply. The SME farmers are complaining of increasing cost of inputs and logistics which is increasing prices due to less supplies and heavy cost of production. The exporters are complaining that the commercial banks are not inclined for negotiating and discounting letter of credits.
Exports to third world countries and low rating banks is become very difficult and the rice exporters have orders in hand but cannot export as banks are not inclined to negotiate bills drawn on the banks of third world countries or the buyers.
The much talked about currency swap agreement (CSA) with neighboring countries is shelved .The rice sector needs a full fledged CSA with Iran,Turkey, Afghanistan to promote bilateral trade.Our competitor India is getting bigger market share due to our lethargy in decision making. We need to be proactive rather than react as we have lost our traditional buyers due to delayed action or no action. The TDAP needs to hold regular fairs and exhibitions especially to promote Pakistani rice globally.
The Quality Review Committee (QRC) is another hindrance and needs to be dissolved as it is no more required due to the exports by the shippers in their own brands. There are no restrictions in India for rice exporters. QRC was formed to protect basmati label but unfortunately India prevailed and got a major portion of the geographical indications (GI) in their favour and QRC obstructed exports irrationally.
The TDAP needs to file an amendment with the GI registry for inclusion of omitted basmati growing areas. The withholding tax on exports of rice needs to be reduced to 0.5 % to make our exports competitive.
Farm inputs be exempted from duties and taxes to reduce cost of production. Rice processing machinery and packing materials needs to be exempted from duty to encourage modernization of Rice processing units.
Thaver said the TDAP is duty bound to look into the hurdles and make efforts to resolve the issues and take up the matter with the ministry of commerce, finance and agriculture to make them consider the difficulties and adopt measures at the earliest.
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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