LAHORE - The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has called for an immediate consultation over the issue of regulatory duty on 250 items to ensure business-friendly decisions.

In a statement, LCCI President Malik Tahir Javed, Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed and Vice President Zeeshan Khalil said the LCCI understands that unnecessary imports are widening trade deficit but it believes that extensive consultation between public and private sector is a must to bring clarity to the issue of regulatory duty. The LCCI office-bearers said that unnecessary and lavish items imports must be discouraged to get rid of the historic trade deficit that has widened to $6.29 billion during first two month of current fiscal year as compared with the deficit of $4.711 billion in the corresponding months of the last year. But at the same time, it must be ensured that imports of necessary raw materials are not affected.

They said that the only way to avoid any burden on the imports of necessary raw material and machinery etc is the consultation between the government and the private sector. They said that one-sided decision would be failed to give desired results.

The LCCI office-bearers said that though aspiration of controlling the huge trade deficit is a good sign but it would be better to draw a sketch for boosting the exports that are not up to the mark because of various reasons.

They said that the government should contribute to the national economy through trade facilitation and liberalization, improve export competitiveness and reduce the cost of doing business. They said that the Ministry of Commerce should provide direction and diversification to internal trade for enhancing supply chains to the country’s exports. They said that new trade avenues and markets should be explored in different regions to secure market access for Pakistani products. They said that trade policy should be targeted the international and internal trade.

According to a news item, around 250 items have been identified on which additional regulatory duty will be imposed including used cars, tyres, mobile phones, electronic goods, readymade garments and ceramic tiles.