ISLAMABAD   -   Tariff Policy Board (TPB) on Thursday has opined that, there is an urgent need to remove anomalies in the tariff structure so that cost of doing business could be reduced by providing cheap raw materials to the Industrial Sector.

The 16h meeting of the Tariff Policy Board (TPB) was held in the Committee Room of the Ministry of Commerce, under the Chairmanship of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood.  The meeting was attended by the Ministry of Commerce Secretary, National Tariff Commission (NTC) Chairperson, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Member Customs Operations, Ministry of Industries and Production Additional Secretary, Board of Investment Director, and other senior officials of the concerned ministries.

The Advisor reiterated the importance, given by the Government, to the “Make in Pakistan” initiative led economic growth. In order to achieve this objective, import duties on 1,623 Tariff Lines, pertaining to basic raw material and intermediate goods had been reduced to zero through the Finance Act, 2020. In continuation of this Policy, additional customs duties and regulatory duties on 164 items related to Textile sector, not manufactured in Pakistan, had been recently removed by the Federal Cabinet. In order to move forward and to remove Additional Customs Duties on remaining raw materials, not manufactured in Pakistan, different proposals were discussed by the members of TPB. The members of TPB opined that there is an urgent need to remove anomalies in the tariff structure so that cost of doing business could be reduced by providing cheap raw materials to the Industrial Sector. This would also help to improve competitiveness of our exports vis-a vis trading partners of Pakistan. The TPB approved further working on 152 tariff Lines for removal of Additional Customs Duty.

The NTC Chairperson briefed the members of TPB on progress made so far in conducting study of Plastics Sector. The Advisor stressed that sectoral studies ought to be completed within the given time line so that tariffs rationalisations could be done in those sectors by taking into account the recommendations of the studies.

At the end of the meeting, the Advisor remarked that in pursuance of the objectives of National Tariff Policy 2019-24, meetings of the TPB are being held on regular basis. Prior to this policy, proposals regarding tariff rationalisations were mostly discussed at the time of budget exercise. He further stated that as per vision of the Prime Minister, the tariffs are being used as instrument of trade policy so that manufacturing sector in Pakistan could be strengthened.