Steel industry acknowledge Prime Minister for assuring support.

ISLAMABAD, Feb 15 (Alliance News):A delegation of Pakistan Association of Large Steel Producers (PALSP) on Thursday met with caretaker Prime Minister for Anwar ul Haq Kakar and acknowledged the government support for industry.
The delegation included leading member of long steel manufacturers which included senior members of PALSP including Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak, Abbas Akberali, Javaid Mughal, Saqib Riaz, Hussain Agha, Zarak Khan Khattak, Hassan Farid and Wajid Iqbal Bukhari- Secretary General, PALSP. The meeting was also attended by senior officials of Finance, FBR, SBP and NHA, said a press release issued by PALSP here.

PALSP delegation briefed the Prime Minister about the challenges and most pressing issues of steel sector.
The members of delegation expressed their concerns over current difficult period for industries amid exorbitant interest rates, sky rocketing cost of inputs especially electricity prices etc.
In order to bring the Steel Industry out of the current situation, the PALSP delegation urged the PM that the Govt must take effective measures to facilitate steel sector.

PM Kakar keenly heard all the issues of industry and assured govts full cooperation and support.
He recognized the pivotal role that the steel sector can play in fortifying the country’s economy and directed the relevant authorities to formulate policies aimed at supporting steel industry to contribute more to the economy.
PM advised the industry to develop a consortium and come up with proposal for steel industry transformation especially extraction of iron ores and Pakistan Steel Mills privatization.
He said SIFC is the best platform for industry to suggest transformative measure and innovative ideas that can boost industry. ThePALSP highlighted that current unprecedented tough situation has forced companies to either halt/shut down their operations or to operate at minimum capacities.

As a result, many companies declared heavy losses and others have meager profit margins of 1% to 2% for current year. In such grim of situation where companies are facing losses the high rate of 1.25% Turnover Tax (on manufacturing) is regressive & extremely unjustifiable. To ease the situation and stabilize the local steel industry there is need to rationalize Turnover tax rate and increase its adjustment period to 5 years.
The members updated the PM that the inordinate delay in incorporation of required enabling provision in Export Facilitation Scheme Rules (“EFS Rules”) is hindering steel industry’s copper export potential. During the meeting, the PM was apprised that some of the key players of steel industry are fast diversifying in the exports of non-ferrous products/copper and in the last few years, steel industry emerged as the fastest growing exporting sector securing 5th place in top exporting sectors. In FY 2023, the value of exports of copper touched USD 1350 million mark, exhibiting Year-on-Year increase of around 20%. With Chinese annual copper imports of around USD 200 billion and FTA with China providing competitive advantage, copper exports could easily cross USD 5 billion mark within two to three years.
PALSP members also highlighted that the menace of flying GST invoices is biggest threat for documented players. PALSP apprised that the flying sales tax invoices are being circulated for sale/purchase of local steel scrap by unorganized/small players of the industry and approximately 80% of the local scrap sales are routed via Flying Sales Tax Invoices. This deprives the national exchequer in the form of huge revenue loss of billions of rupees. The Association suggested to disallow sales tax input on purchase of local steel scrap.
The Association also asked for curbing the menace of smuggling. PALSP appreciated that govt has took all preventive measures to stop the menace of smuggling but from last couple of months the smuggling activity has again started picking.

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