According to local sources, Pakistan rice exporters are worried that export prices are mounting and subsequently competitiveness for their rice is diminishing in the international market. Absence of proper infrastructure facilities and tax concessions are pointed as main causes for this condition.

According to the Chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), the country’s rice sector is confronting hitches predominantly due to power lacks, poor amenities offered by the container terminal operators (CTOs) and growing port terminal duties. Unreasonable postponement in reimbursement claims on sales tax paid by the rice exporters on electricity bills is also triggering difficulties to them, he said.

The REAP Chairman apparently met with the President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and explained him of the glitches faced by the rice exporters. Local informants say he required the support of the FPCCI President in looking for government support in resolving these complications and increasing competitiveness of Pakistan rice in the international market.

They primarily want the government to deal with the fluctuating prices charged by the transportation machinists at dissimilar rupee-dollar rates due to lack of firm Foreign Exchange Policy highlighting a single parity rate.

Secondly, they also want the port operators to improve their services as well as decrease container charges for rice. Thirdly, they are looking for financial support from the Export Development Fund (EDF) for the improvement of a solid line from K-electric feeders to their cluster area to safeguard continuous power supplies.

The FPCCI President is expected to converse these concerns on behalf of the REAP with the Governor of State Bank of Pakistan shortly.

Distinctly, Pakistan rice millers are insisting the government to fix a price for paddy this year to evade decrease in prices. They met with the Minister for Food Security and Research (MFS&R) to turn on the issue.

The Minister allegedly assured the millers to take up the difficulty in Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet meeting next week. Pakistan shipped around 3.16 million tons of rice in the financial year 2013-14 (July 2013 – June 2014).