PESHAWAR: Exporters of precious gems from Khyber Pukhtunkhwa have shown apprehensions over implementation of SRO-760 (1) by the Ministry of Commerce. They have demanded its withdrawal without any delay saying that if the decision was not withdrawn within three days, they would go to court against it.
Addressing at a news conference at Peshawar Press Club, Chairman of All Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association (APCEA), Rashid Qadeer Mir said that gemstones’ exporters have been bounded to register with Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), by depositing Rs 30,000, while Rs 15,000 will be paid as registration fee for renewal after three years under the SRO, released by Ministry of Commerce in September 2013. Finance Secretary of APCEA Atif Rasheed Khawaja, Manzoor Elahi, Mushtaq Ahmad, Mamoor Khan, and others were present during the press conference.
Mir said that export of precious gemstones have been declining due to unfavourable environment in KP, while the SRO would further affect it. He said that the officials of the Ministry of Commerce had told the exporters that the gems export was mistakenly included in SRO-760 (1), which will be excluded. He further explained the decision was actually enforced on jewellery and gold.
Despite this fact, Mir said, the decision was also implemented on gemstones’ export through a public notice by the Ministry of Commerce asking the exporters for renewal of their registration with TDAP before January 23 otherwise they will not allow export. Similarly, he said, condition of General Sale Tax is also being imposed through the SRO-760 (1), which was also an unjustifiable move, after which, he said, there would be no legality of exporting precious gemstones. He further informed that around $121.48 million export of precious gemstones from 1996 to 2013 had been recorded, with larger contribution of KP, due to presence of variety of precious and semi precious stones in the province.