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Incentives for exporters announced

ISLAMABAD, Oct 27 (NNI): Several incentives have been announced to offset the negative impact of the current situation on exports.
These were approved at a meeting held in Islamabad on Saturday with the President, General Pervez Musharraf in the chair.
Giving details at a joint news conference, the Ministers for Finance and Commerce said the Central Board of Revenue has been directed to accelerate the payment of refund. Apart from normal refunds, the Board will repay 12 billion rupee up-to 31st of December this year to clear the backlog. They hoped that addition of this amount in the liquidity system would ease problems of the exports.
The implementation of the quarterly reduction schedule of the duty drawback has been deferred for the next two quarters in view of the current situation.
Mr. Shaukat Aziz and Mr. Razzak Daud pointed out the State Bank has already reduced export refinance rate by two percent and further revision would be made in December.
The Commerce Minister said the issue of war risk insurance has been taken up at different fora including the Under-Writers Association of London. Similarly, talks are also in progress with Shippers on the issue of freight charges. He was confident that both the problems would satisfactorily resolved soon.
Mr. Shaukat Aziz informed that the Netherlands has waived off repayment of official development assistance debt to Pakistan for the next two years. This would result in saving of 16 million dollars. The Netherlands has also assured support in Pakistan's efforts to seek debt relief from EU and Paris Club countries and assistance from the international financial institutions. It has also promised to help in getting market access for Pakistan.
The Minister for Finance said a broad agreement has been arrived at between Pakistan and IMF on Poverty Reduction Growth Facility. The papers prepared by the IMF in this regard are being reviewed by Pakistan and the country's request would be considered by IMF in the first week of December.
Paris Club would also meet in December to take up Pakistan's case for meaningful debt relief.
The Minister said Pakistan anticipates 8 billion dollar financing gap over the next three year which would hopefully be met from various sources. He said that so far commitments worth 800 million dollar have been made by different countries to help Pakistan bridge its revenue loss. He however, said none of the amount has so far been paid.
Asked what the Government plans to do with the extra funding from different sources, the Minister said it will be spent on infrastructure development and poverty reduction programme. Khushhal Pakistan Programme would be expanded substantially and more money would be spent on health and education.
The Minister said as of yesterday, country's gross foreign exchange reserves stood at 3.5 billion dollars while net cash reserves were 1.9 billion dollars.
Mr. Abdul Razzak Daud told a questioner the country's exports dropped by 10% last month and 30% this month as a result of the current situation. He said export of knitting, garments and some other products has suffered while there has been no decline in export of towel, bed-sheets and fabrics.ŚNNI

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