SIALKOT: President Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Muhammad Ashraf Malik has assured full support to the Federal and Provincial Government from the Industry of Sialkot in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

The President said that prevailing circumstances unity and collective efforts were direly needed for the larger national interest especially for the public. In press statement on Sunday the SCCI President appreciated dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan to leading the nation and for realizing the significance of sustainability of the Exports to fight the impacts of the prevailing crisis.

The President SCCI said the prevailing crisis had started showing its economic impacts as the Exporters of Sialkot were feeling the heat due to a shortage of Raw Material in the markets due to lockdown in China and cancellation of Export Orders from the European and American Markets. The fiasco has resulted in our buyers canceling the planned and confirmed orders and also the payments are being delayed for an indefinite time leading to liquidity issues for the Industry," he added.

Expressing his deep concern that in case of a prolonged crisis, the SME based export sector of Sialkot would have no other option but to close down the facilities and laying off employees which could have grave consequences for the highly skilled and dedicated labor of the city.

Highlighting Prime Minister's commitment to support the Manufacturing and Export Sector of Pakistan during the tough times, the President SCCI appealed to the Government for announcing a special package for the Export Sector to support them financially so that they may continue to sustain their businesses and ultimately continue to provide sustenance for the millions of households of the district.

The President Chamber also stressed that the Government should, suspend the 180 days limit of repatriation of the proceeds against exports, suspend the targets set forth for rollover of export refinance schemes, clearance of all pending Sales Tax, Income Tax refunds, and Duty Drawback Claims on an emergent basis. The SCCI President was of the view that such measures would give the necessary boost to the Industry allowing the Exporters to fight the challenges of the pandemic.