KARACHI - The proposed re-imposition of customs duty and sales tax on the ship breaking industry in the forthcoming budget will affect the already fragile ship-breaking industry adversely, feared Balochistan Economic Forum (BEF). It has been suspected that some lobby of direct steel importers pressurise the government to increase GST and sales tax up from 30 to 50 percent which is very high in comparison to existent tax which ranks from 1 to 25%. However if the tax is increased even a bit, like 5 percent, it will harm the industry severely. The existing tax was minimised in the last budget, which no doubt help the industry to flourish and considering that fact some 100 ships have been done with breaking in that period which is a record. The present boom at the Gadani ship-breaking yard began early this year after customs duty and sales tax was waived in the last budget and helped revive the ship-breaking industry after a lull of over 10 years. It has also generated economic activity in a big way and created employment opportunities from seashores of Balochistan to up North where most of the foundries and re-rolling mills are located. If the proposed tax be imposed some 10,000 to 12000 labourers will be displaced, and having the current volatile condition of Balochistan in consideration it is sheer nonsense to eliminate such viable industry, said Sardar Shaukat Chairman Balochistan Business Economic Forum while talking to the Nation. He further said that fearing such imposition of tax the ships have been shored before June 30 to get rid of its effects, while last year it has paid Rs 129 million in terms of tax. He lamented taking this sector in the decided section of 'tax net widening as it is not feasible to exercise taxing practices in the already feeble sectors such as ship-braking industry. He suggested to the government to heed on developing infrastructure at Gadani which would really help establish processing units there and would be vital to boost the economy of the country. The economy of Pakistan is badly affected by the global recession and internal threats and no sector is in limelight for example mining which is in drought and fishries exports have been banned by Japan and European countries.