Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association (PCMA) has demanded of the government to provide a comprehensive relief package for development of chemical industry in the forthcoming budget. PCMA's Secretary General Syed Iqbal Kidwai on Friday said the association's member companies are playing key role in providing important chemicals to export oriented sectors.
But, despite huge potential of growth and creating surplus for exports, chemical industry has not been given due importance while announcing reliefs, he said and lamented that unlike champion countries in chemical manufacturing like China, USA, Germany, South Korea and India hardly any support was provided by the government of Pakistan in laying the infrastructure which is a pre-condition to attract private investment/FDI.
Our naphtha (feedstock) has been selling on throw-away prices and not a single Naphtha Cracker Complex could be established in Pakistan as of today, he regretted. On the contrary, he said that India had established 9 crackers, Iran despite challenging sanctions had put in place 8, Singapore without even having any feedstock had established 8 state-of-the art petrochemical complexes.
He complained that cash-flow of the chemical manufacturing companies had been hampered adversely due to non-payment of their tax refunds. He said that a large sum of tax refund of the member companies was due from the government end.
He pointed out that after passing through a cumbersome procedure of establishing a tax refund, the payment is finally stuck in FBR Islamabad waiting go ahead from the government to release funds.
A few months ago, the government released Rs 8 billion for tax refund which were all spent on settling refunds of export oriented sectors and other potentially deserving industries including chemical industry were ignored, he said and urged the government to look into the matter and order for the release of all such approved refund orders. "This relief may act as a compensating factor given the prevalent challenges of borrowing costs and serious liquidity crunch the industry is facing." he added.