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Pak govt urged to bail out rice exports
Publication Date : 28-01-2013
Exporters have urged the government of Pakistan to bail out rice exports maintaining that a steep fall was witnessed during the first six months of current fiscal year due to higher local prices.
The issue was raised by Chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) Jawed Ali Ghori in a meeting held on Friday with the chief executive of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Abid Javed Akbar.
“The major reason behind falling trend in exports is higher prices of rice in the domestic market and as a result of this so far there is a fall of around 53 per cent in export of Basmati rice and 11 per cent in non-basmati rice,” he said.
He said, other rice exporting countries like India, Vietnam and Burma are taking benefit of this situation by capturing our market share and this has put entire rice industry in severe crisis.
Ghori sought State Bank support in the form of special rebate of 0.5 per cent on outstanding export finance loans to rice exports, increase in export performance time frame and repayment of loans from current 180 days to 270 days.
He further said that the State Bank should also give complete waiver from penalty to exporters not meeting export performance as required under Export Finance Scheme for a period of 12 months.
Chief patron of Reap Abdul Rahim Janoo speaking on the occasion said: “Till 2001, rice exports stood only at around US$300 million but with hard work of exporters within a period of six years, our exports surged to $1 billion and now stand over $2 billion.”
He regretted that export target of $4 billion fixed for year 2012 could not be achieved due to heavy rains and floods which badly damaged paddy crop in the province of Sindh.
Janoo urged TDAP to immediately shift Quality Review Committee (QRC) head office from Lahore to Karachi, adding that there was complete consensus of rice exporters on this issue.
“Since 95 per cent of rice exports take place from Karachi, therefore, there is no reason to keep its head office in Lahore where it has no role to play.”
Chief Executive TDAP Abid Javed Akbar assured rice exporters of resolving their issues and said matters pertaining to export finance scheme will be taken up at the earliest with the State Bank of Pakistan.
He also assured that issue pertaining to Reap’s representation in the Export Development Fund Board and funds required for setting up rice technical institute for producing skilled labour will be taken up with the government.
The export target of $4 billion fixed by REAP members, he said, will get full support from TDAP and the ministry of commerce.