LAHORE - Chief Collector Customs Rabab Sikandar has said that the government has a liberal policy to solve problems of the business community and in this regard, it is increasing communication with stakeholders. She urged the Carpet Association to prepare a comprehensive presentation regarding all their problems and complications, adding that: “the concerned officers of the department will personally come to you for briefing.” “The concerns and suggestions raised regarding the suspended SRO 492 and newly issued SRO 545 related to carpet products temporarily imported for repair, rewash and refinish will be taken into consideration immediately and there is an effort to give a positive reaction regarding the extension of the period ending this month,” she expressed these views during the visit of Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PCMAEA) along with Focal Person of Member Customs and Collector Sialkot Nair Shafiq. On this occasion, Senior Vice Chairman of the Association Usman Ashraf, Senior Central Leader Abdul Latif Malik, Shahid Hasan Sheikh, Chairman of Carpet Training Institute Ejazur Rahman, Senior Member Riaz Ahmed and others were also present. Senior Vice Chairman Usman Ashraf and Shahid Hasan Sheikh informed Chief Collector Customs Rabab Sikandar about long-standing problems faced by exporters of handmade carpets and requested her to solve them. They said that the concerned departments should increase communication with the exporters to solve the problems and it is suggested to appoint a focal person for effective communication and problem solving. They said that the industry of handmade carpets is a cottage industry, there are various stages involved in making a carpet and it is a slow process of many months and similarly, carpets that are temporarily imported from foreign countries for repair, rewash and refinish require time for re-manufacturing and returning them.
“In this regard SRO 492 was very suitable for us but now the period has been shortened by SRO 545 and the extension period is coming to an end next week, which is causing serious concern among the exporters,” they added. They said that the industry of handmade carpets is the recognition and pride of Pakistan all over the world.
There is a demand that the duties of foreign countries should be reduced, if handwoven carpet products are also included in the free trade agreement with various countries, then our exports can increase many times.
Chief Collector of Customs Rabab Sikandar said that all the problems have been learned in detail and exporters are the backbone of the economy, therefore, their problems will be solved. She also assured them that the matter regarding SRO will be resolved as soon as possible. She said that you prepare your presentation regarding the problems and complications and the concerned officers will come to you next week to solve the problems. She further said seminars will be conducted jointly regarding implementation of various laws and we will take stakeholders into confidence in this regard. On this occasion, Senior Vice-Chairman Usman Ashraf presented him with a souvenir and a handmade carpet from the association while Chief Collector Customs Rabab Sikandar also reviewed the various stages of hand-made carpets in the Carpet Training Institute.