Commerce Ministry Identifies New Product Sector for Diversifying Exports

A meeting was convened by the Advisor to the Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razaq Dawood, to discuss the issues related to the salt industry and export enhancement plans.

The meeting was attended by the All Pakistan Salt Association (APSA) and the senior officers of the Ministry of Commerce. Dawood welcomed the association, and in the deliberations, the APSA President thanked the advisor for receiving them.

The president was grateful that the Ministry of Commerce is taking a keen interest in export enhancement and supporting each sector and product with potential exports. He informed the house during his presentation that Pakistan has the second-largest reserve of salts in the world but its exports are ranked very low. He also opined that the wastage percentage is very high due to the primitive methods of mining

While discussing the role of the government, he shared the industry views that the chemical industry related to salt is unable to grow due to neglect. He believes that if the government provides patronage, up to one billion dollars could be earned from the export of salt to the chemical industries all over the world.

He also informed the house that the APSA is also launching a huge project in Gwadar to make Sun Salt for industrial usage. The project size is around $750 million and will be completed in phases. The first phase will be completed within two years. After the start of the first phase, around $400-500 million exports will increase through the project.

Another senior member of the APSA also shared his proposed project for Soda Ash in Khushab.

He said that if this project is initiated successfully, a sizable number of locals will be employed, and the exports will also increase.

The APSA told the Advisor that Sales Tax has been imposed on Mined Salt at the excavation stage in this budget and that this measure will adversely affect the entire industry as poor laborers are involved in the mining. It requested him to approach the FBR for the revision of the Sales Tax at the mining stage.

Dawood agreed to take the case up with the concerned authorities, and the APSA assured him of their full commitment to the enhancement of exports from Pakistan.

Courtesy: Technology Times

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