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  Delay in payment of refund claims frustrating exporters: Atif Ikram Sheikh
ISLAMABAD, April 07 (INP): Business leader and former President of Islamabad Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Atif Ikram Sheikh has said that continued delay in payment of refund claims is hurting economy and the export sector while the business community is getting loans from banks to keep their units running. In a statement issued here on Friday, Atif Ikram Sheikh said that loadshedding has increased resulting in miseries for the masses while the production in majority of the industries has been compromised which is against the national interests. He said that government should immediately clear circular debt otherwise the economy will have to brave a severe blow. The former President ICCI said that delay in payment of refund claims has frustrated business community while many businesses continue to suffer from severe liquidity issues. He said that exporters are getting loans on inflated interest rates from the market to remain in business which has made exports costly speeding up fall in the external trade which may result in more foreign loans. Our exports continue to fall due to various issues while those of the competing countries continue to surge because of their enabling environment, he said adding that export sector should be given attention otherwise government will have to seek more loans which country can ill ford as loans have already up to 63 percent of the GDP which seems unsustainable. Atif Ikram Sheikh said the government should ensure uninterrupted power and gas supply to industrial sectors. Textile is the main export earning sector which is providing jobs to 38 percent population but they have been left at the mercy of tax administration. Refund claims of exporters are piling up with the FBR and they have to get fresh loans at high mark-up rate to fulfill the needs of working capital, he former ICCI President added. INP/SB/AK
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