The Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) has rejected 17 per cent sales tax on export sectors of textile, leather, carpet, surgical equipment and sports equipment in the 2019-20 budget and expressed serious concern over the withdrawal of zero-rated facility for the five key exports sectors at a time when refund claims of Rs 300 bn are stuck up.

The withdrawal of sales tax zero rating for key five sectors, announced in the budget, would adversely impact the country’s exports, which already were facing many challenges, PHMA Chairman Adil Butt said at a recent meeting. Moreover, the rupee devaluation by more than 30 per cent has failed to raise exports. According to industrialist Abdul Hameed, these five sectors contribute 70 per cent to Pakistani exports and contribute significantly to foreign exchange earnings and providing employment to skilled and unskilled labour force. The participants in the meeting urged the government to facilitate industrialisation, particularly in the agro-based and value-added sectors, to enhance exports, according to Pakistani media reports.