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The leather sector cannot benefit from the duty-free access to the EU market under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP-Plus) unless the government restores a zero-rated regime in the upcoming federal budget 2014-15 for export-oriented leather industry to help ease its liquidity flow, according to budget proposals from the Pakistan Tanners Association.
Demanding complete ban on the export of livestock, the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) said that contrary to the huge potential of leather products, the exports of the leather industry remained stagnant at $1.22 billion for the last six years.
PTA South Zone Chairman Fawad Jawed insisted that some support from the Ministry of Commerce could push leather exports to $3 billion in three years, making it the second biggest export industry after textiles.
Jawed endorsing the PTA’s budget proposals, asked the government to include hides and skins in the 6th Schedule of Sales Tax Act 1990, besides reducing Customs duty on basic leather chemicals.
The PTA Chief also requested the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) chief to make strong recommendation for inclusion of PTA’s proposal for budget and trade policy for the year 2014-15.
He demanded the release of pending sales tax claims of PTA members, saying that a significant ratio of working capital of leather exporters was held in the refund regime at a time when the leather exports had already declined by over 17% during the last six years from $1.22 billion in 2007-08 to $1.01 billion in 2012-13.
The growth rate of leather sector exports was negative and exports reduced to 14% as against the positive growth in the Indian sub-continent region.