KARACHI: The Pakistan Association of Printing and Graphic Arts Industry (PAPGAI) have strongly condemned the National Tariff Commission (NTC) for imposing anti-dumping duty on offset printing ink and termed the decision of NTC as the serious threat for the printing industry.

In a joint statement, leaders of PAPGAI said that the decision of the NTC would raise the cost of printing, especially the educational publications.

They said that the printed materials are being imported under HS Code 4901-9100 to 4901-9910, 4903-000 and 4902-9000 at nearly zero rate of duty. But the paper is overtaxed.

Expressing their deep concern, the PAPGAI leaders said that the imposition of anti-dumping on printing inks would harm the local printing industry, which is already facing the threat of duty free imported printed materials.

Terming the decision of NTC as detrimental for the printing industry, they said that existing duty and taxes on ink are nearly 52 percent. The local industry is overburdened with hefty duties and taxes and the printing and graphic arts industry is struggling without the support of the government, the lamented.

They said that the Import Trade Price (ITP) of offset ink has been increased up to 50% during last eight months through unfair method and without the consent of the stake holders. It is to be noted that the decision of increasing the ITP was taken during the hearing by the customs valuation officials but, surprisingly, importers and the majority of the local manufacturers were not informed regarding the hearing, they added.

They further said that none of the local ink manufacturers have expressed grievances against the imported offset inks, however; it seems that concerned government departments have conspired with one certain manufacturer to strangulate the printing industry. They said that the increased ink prices would lead to expensive printing of text books making education more expensive in country, where literacy rate is already very low.

The association has demanded that to withdraw decision of NTC immediately and stop favoritism as this decision will encourage smuggling and through Afghan Transit and the government will lose hefty revenue.