KARACHI - Commerce Secretary Mohammad Younus Dagha has said that regulatory duty was imposed with an intention to only discourage the import of consumer goods and the Ministry of Commerce is also against imposition of RD on raw material, which is the basic reason why RD on 35 raw materials has been withdrawn recently.

“The situation in terms of RD on more consumer items may worsen further in the days to come. However, any raw material subjected to RD, which is pointed out by Karachi Chamber, will certainly be taken into consideration and immediately withdrawn so that the cost of production, competitiveness and exportability of industries are not affected”, he added while speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Chairman Businessmen Group & former president KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik and other office bearers were also present at the meeting.

Younus Dagha stated that RD is not something final which cannot be altered but the RD on consumer goods will remain intact and the situation may worsen further as enhancing exports is dearer to the Ministry of Commerce than imports. “Anyone importing consumer items should not expect any facilitation from the Ministry of Commerce. We are willing to serve the exporters day and night, which is a very clear policy of the Ministry and I am speaking very openly”, he added.

Referring to concerns expressed by Zubair Motiwala on 4 percent rebate to exporters of yarn, he agreed that it was a valid demand that this incentive should not be given to exporters of yarn and the issue has also been raised by the Ministry of Commerce. “We will try to deal with it in the next budget”, he added.

Younus Dagha assured to review and look into the possibility of implementing Trade Organizations Ordinance 2007. He advised the Karachi Chamber to challenge registration of fake and bogus trade bodies under an existing legal system at the office of DGTO.

In reply to business community’s complaints against the Department of Plant Protection (DPP), Younus Dagha categorically stated that strict action will be taken against individuals taking bribery under the SPS (Sanitary & Phytosanitary) condition.

Chairman BMG & former president KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, while referring to deep concerns expressed at the meeting over FBR’s discretionary powers, stated that since Ishaq Dar presented the first budget, the Karachi Chamber pointed out numerous anomalies and continued to criticize the policies and decisions taken in the budgets for subsequent years. “Massive discretionary powers were granted to FBR officials in all these budgets and we kept raising strong voice against them but unfortunately, nobody paid any attention to KCCI’s concerns.

He was of the opinion that laws, regulations and acts were devised in such a manner to empower FBR’s staff even at lower level to harass the business and industrial community.

A culture in all the Ministries and Departments at federal and provincial levels has been created in which unbridled powers have been granted to lower staff who are empowered to shut down factories and take biased decisions. These laws and powers were not meant to increase revenue and attract new taxpayers but to create hurdles and harass the existing taxpayers.