Carpet Manufacturers Share Concerns with Pakistan Customs

Carpet Manufacturers Share Concerns with Pakistan Customs

Lahore, March 3, 2024 – Members of the Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PCMEA) recently held discussions with Pakistan Customs officials, led by Senior Vice Chairman Usman Ashraf.

The delegation, including senior leaders Abdul Latif Malik, Major (Retd) Akhtar Nazir, and Shahid Hassan Sheikh, met with Collector Customs (Appraisement West) Zahra Haider to address their concerns related to customs clearance processes.

During the meeting, the PCMEA delegation highlighted their apprehensions regarding the suspended SRO 492 and the newly issued SRO 545, specifically related to carpet products temporarily imported for repair, rewash, and refinish. The handmade carpet industry, being a cottage industry, involves various time-consuming stages, lasting several months. Carpets imported from foreign countries for repair, rewash, and refinish require ample time for re-manufacturing and return. The recent reduction in the time period under SRO 545, as opposed to the more suitable SRO 492, has raised serious concerns among exporters.

The delegation stressed that, similar to registered manufacturers, commercial importers should also receive relief in customs duties. They expressed gratitude to Collector Customs Zahra Haider for reactivating the NLC dry port system and hoped that she would convey their suggestions to higher authorities at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to address the industry’s challenges.

Highlighting the significance of the handmade carpet industry, the delegation emphasized that it is the largest cottage industry in Pakistan, employing over a million skilled workers directly or indirectly. This industry, they noted, imposes no burden on the government and actively contributes to the country’s economy through foreign exchange earned via exports.

In response to the concerns raised by the PCMEA, Zahra Haider, while welcoming the delegation, acknowledged the crucial role of exporters in the country’s economy. She assured the delegation that their issues would be brought to the attention of relevant authorities, and efforts would be made for a positive resolution. As a gesture of appreciation, Usman Ashraf presented a PCMEA souvenir to Collector Customs Zahra Haider.

The meeting underscored the importance of effective communication between industry representatives and government authorities to address challenges faced by businesses, ensuring a conducive environment for trade and economic growth in the country. The PCMEA remains hopeful for positive developments in response to their concerns raised during the meeting.