LAHORE: Regulatory duty on essential goods should be withdrawn as it would not only affect the industrial sector but would also open the floodgates of smuggling in the country.
These views were expressed by Zeeshan Khalil, Vice President, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, while talking to Customs Today here the other day. He said smuggling and under invoicing are already causing huge financial loss to the national kitty.
He said the business community was hoping that the government would rationalise the regulatory duty as the Economic Coordination Committee had proposed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to resolve the issue. He said the FBR had the powers to impose, remove, reduce or increase regulatory duty on imported goods. He said it seemed that the issue of the regulatory duty on imports is near to be resolved as the government functionaries have given assurances in this regard.
He said that the authorities were principally agreed to move in favour of the business community, but they worked the other way around by just playing number gimmicks. The sectors which contacted the authorities were given relief at the cost of others’ which had not contacted them, he said.
He said that LCCI is active from the very first day on regulatory duty and meeting the people sitting at the helm of affairs, adding that the on various essential items including raw materials would harm the economy which already under pressure due to rupee devaluation, heavy borrowing, high trade deficit and poor ranking in ease of doing business.
The LCCI vice president said that the regulatory duty regime will not only destroy the exporting sector but will also hit the manufacturing sector hard as a number of raw materials have been subjected to new regulatory duty.
“New Regulatory Duty regime would be hardly doing any service to the economy. Federal Board of Revenue should totally withdraw the recently imposed regulatory duty otherwise its destruction would be beyond the imaginations. He said that since various imported raw materials are\ being used in the local industries for manufacturing and exporting of goods therefore regulatory duty on these important inputs would add to the miseries of export-oriented industries. Resultantly, he said, exports would be continued to sink.
The LCCI VP president said that business community is already suffering because of undue delay in payment of refunds and high cost of doing business and cannot afford to bear heavy burden of regulatory duty that is imposed without keeping in view the ground realities.
The duty is imposed on such products where local industry needs protection. The LCCI understands that protection of local industry is important for any state as it provides employment opportunities and contribute sizeable amount of revenue to national exchequer,” he said adding that business community fails to understand as to why regulatory duty is imposed on import of raw materials and other goods which are either not locally manufactured or produced in very small quantity as compared to their imports.