LAHORE: All Pakistan Halal Meat Exporters & Processors Association (AHMEPA) Chairman Nasib Ahmad Saifi has regretted that the federal government has given no attention to the halal food export sector in the proposed Budget 2017-18.

This sector, if patronized and given incentive, can easily fetch foreign exchange equal to total exports of Pakistan, he claimed while talking to Business Recorder, here on Saturday.

He said they had written to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar time and again to give this sector special attention. The estimated worth of this sector in global market is $300 billion and they can have plenty of foreign exchange in hands if they succeed in achieving only 10 percent of this market.

Nevertheless, he said, this sector needs some incentives like ‘zero rated’ status. He said Pakistan with the double advantage of being a Muslim country and being Shariah-compliant in the food sector has enormous potential to gain a major chunk of the international halal food market. “We can easily earn up to $30 billion per annum which is 1.5 times the current value of our exports if we succeed in capturing only 10 percent of the international halal food trade,” Saifi said.

The AHMEPA Chairman also urged the government to pay attention towards the plight of meat exporters and exempt it from power cuts besides releasing stuck-up export bills and allocation of special room for consignments and promotion of livestock farming in the country.

Saifi also highlighted the need to put a stop to the slaughter of female livestock and suspend the construction of new slaughter houses in the country unless existing units achieve break-even stage.

He said commercial officers must contribute to introduce halal food markets in new countries, especially Turkey, Central Asia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco.

The AHMEPA Chairman also urged that the tax deducted at source should be reduced up to 0.50 percent so that all exporters show their full value of export and whole tax could be submitted to national reserves.

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