LAHORE: Members of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and the Pakistan FMCG Importers Association have staged a strong protest demonstration to press the government for immediate withdrawal of recently levied regulatory duties on different items.
The demonstration was led by LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rashid, Pakistan FMCG Importers Association Chairman Anjum Nisar, LCCI Vice Chairman Ejaz Tanveer, former LCCI president Mian Anjum Nisar, Aftab Ahmad Vohra and various others. Earlier, the association also arranged a seminar on the issue of imposition of regulatory duties and their negative impact on the national economy.
The participants, through unanimously adopted resolutions, urged the government to immediately withdraw regulatory duties, lower the customs duties, steps for arresting smuggling and taking representatives of stakeholders on board while formulating policies of any sector. The resolution said that the government should not have adopted the wrong method of imposing regulatory duties to bridge the gap between import and exports. They termed it as a step which was taken without thorough consideration and consulting the business community.
It further observed that increasing taxes on one segment of the society would not help boosting exports. However, they apprehended that it might increase smuggling in the garb of Afghan Transit trade, multiply hardships for those carrying out import in legal way, and reduce the advance tax which importers deposit in the national kitty, smugglers and their facilitators would pick more courage thus leading to destruction of national institutions.
The resolution also claimed that the FMCG sector was the second leading sector of economy after agriculture which would be facing numerous hardships because of the regulatory duties.