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Union of Small and Medium Enterprises demands cut in documentation for ease in doing business

Karachi, March 19, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) pointed out that in the World Bank’s 2015 ‘ Doing Business Report ‘ Pakistan is placed at 128 amongst the 189 countries probably this indicates Pakistan needs to make doing business easy and go beyond efficiency and achieve a better ranking.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said there is too much of documentation involved for both import and export whereas it needs to be simplified and reduced. Documentation involves time, energy and increases the cost of the transaction. Shipments have to be smooth and swift because vessels carry on their voyages as per schedule and do not wait for import or export cargo. At present the exporter in Pakistan has to prepare a number of documents for a single shipment which is mere duplication of description, quantity, quality, shipping marks, packing and serial numbers of shipping documents.

Most of the Gulf and Middle east countries require the documents to be legalized by their own consulates or embassies. The consulates and embassies only legalize documents which are attested by chamber of commerce and then by the Pakistan foreign office. All this is time consuming and expensive and a long waiting period is required.

India has reduced the requirements of documents to only 3 both for import and export. and has notified only 3 mandatory documents. The requirement for export is Shipping bill supported by commercial invoice, packing list and bill of lading and for import it is bill of entry supported by commercial invoice, packing list and bill of lading. Pakistan also needs to simplify import and export to promote exports and imports.

The SMEs need to be facilitated and all unnecessary documentation must be done away with. In case of goods where no objection certificate is required it must be issued without loss of much time.

Thaver said doing business must be made easy and transaction cost must be reduced to make our goods competitive.

Giving example of rice export shipment he said the shipper is required to submit besides the invoice, packing list and bill of lading several documents like phytosanitray, health, fumigation, inspection and also inspection by Quality Review Committee (QRC), certificate of origin, bill of exchange and other documents required by the buyer attested by the chamber of commerce, then by the foreign office and finally y the consulate or embassy of the importing country.

In the case of import of scrap tyres for furnaces the importers have to face objection from the environment ministries of the provinces although the units have their control systems. The regime of no objection certificates (NOCs)is causing hardships and the big businessmen can cope up with it but the SMEs are bothered.

UNISAME therefore demands one window operation, removal of NOCs culture and reduction in documentation.

UNISAME has appreciated the adoption of filing electronic returns by the SECP, FBR and partially by the Customs and has urged the filing of electronic applications by the Trade Marks Registry, PTCL and other organizations to make life easy for the SMEs.

UNISAME also appreciated that the FIR with the police head office could be lodged electronically and stated that these were positive steps taken by the government but stressed that the governments need to do more to make doing business easy.

For more information, contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35884225-6
Fax: +92-21-35380642
Cell: +92-300-8245307, +92-321-8245307
Email: unisame@gmail.com

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