LAHORE– Punjab Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Muhammad Aslam Iqbal has suspended audit notices issued by Social Security Department due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.
He announced this in a meeting with a delegation of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) headed by its Central Chairman Mr. Adil Bashir and including Mr. Abdul Rahim Nasir Chairman APTMA Northern Zone, Mr. Mohammad Raza Baqir, Executive Director, APTMA.
Mian Mohammad Aslam Iqbal assured APTMA delegation of all out support by the Provincial Government in smooth functioning of all industrial units for an increase in exports. He has requested APTMA member mills to ensure a compliance of all prescribed SOPs to fight effectively against the second wave of Covid 19.
Mian Mohammad Aslam Iqbal further said that the government has pinned high hopes on the export-oriented sector for increase in exports, creation of jobs and new investment in the country. He said that development work on the establishment of industrial zones is being done on priority basis and is expected to be completed during the first half of the year 2021. He added that all said zones would serve as industrial hubs equipped with all basic infrastructure and state of the art facilities.
He urged the industry to step forward and start planning to set up industrial units at the earliest to contribute towards industrialization of the country and accelerating the pace of economic development.
He further stated that under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Usman Khan Buzdar both the Federal and Provincial Governments are keen to uplift the industrial activities and the pace of progress is being monitored closely by the leaderships at the highest level.
Responding to the demand of APTMA for waiver of Provincial excise duty on electricity bills to keep the exports free from all domestic duties and taxes, he assured APTMA of the fullest cooperation and asked them to send a working paper to him on this issue for serious consideration by the Provincial Government.
On the question of collecting water charges even on the stand by turbine, the Minister issued directions that water charges would only be collected in respect of the turbine actually used for water pumping and the stand by turbine would not be charged.
Mr Mohammad Aslam Iqbal also nominated Mr. Asif Farrukh, Additional Secretary Department of Industries as focal person for resolving day to day issues, if arisen in future.
Mr. Adil Bashir, Chairman APTMA thanked the Honorable Minister in particular and the Provincial and Federal Governments in general for their bold initiatives in resolving the issues faced by the industrialists and hoped that with the continued support of the Government, the whole textile sector would make all out efforts to promote further investment in textile sector.
He also apprised the Minister with the salient features of new Textile Policy and vowed the commitment to uplift industrial activities and exports from the country.
Meanwhile a handout issued by the Industries department said a delegation led by Adil Bashir, Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, called on Mian Aslam Iqbal, Provincial Minister for Industry and Commerce here today. Issues facing industrial sector were discussed.
Chairman APTMA apprised about the issues related to water charges, excise duty, electricity and social security audit of industries. Talking on the occasion, Provincial Minister for Industry and Commerce Mian Aslam Iqbal said that textile sector is an important sector of the national economy and the problems of this sector will be solved on priority basis.
He said that huge export orders have come in the textile sector and the government cannot afford to close the factory even for a day. He said that the country was facing another severe wave of corona and corona cases were on the rise.
He said that government guidelines should be fully implemented to keep the wheel of the industry running smoothly. The provincial minister said that we have to save the people from both hunger and disease. The government has given relief of Rs 56 billion in taxes for the promotion of commercial activities.
The government’s energy support package will also help industries. He said that the industry has also suffered due to costly power projects in the past. The provincial minister said that social security would not send notices regarding future audits of industries. Notices already sent by the department should be withdrawn.
He directed the Social Security Department to take back these notices. In the current situation of Corona, we have to provide facilities to the industrialists to keep the wheel of the industry running. I am always present to solve the problems faced by the textile sector. Additional Secretary Industry and Commerce, APTMA’s Rahim Nasir, Raza Baqir and others were present in the meeting.