ISLAMABAD - The federal government has failed to appoint member to the National Tariff Commission (NTC) in line with the judgment of Lahore High Court.

NTC will now remain dysfunctional till a new member is appointed in line with the judgment passed by LHC, dated March 15, 2016, while

the domestic industry is facing serious problems due to the development.

“The non-functional NTC is also causing delays in investigations into all major producers of industrial goods, including chemical, iron, steel and paper besides Paper Board producers, textile industry and ceramic tiles industry,” said an official of the NTC.

Almost all major producers of the industrial goods filed applications before NTC against dumped and subsidized imports into Pakistan. NTC started due process to take appropriate measures, where necessary, to counter dumping and subsidization by foreign producers.

However, certain importers approached the Lahore High Court and obtained court's order, dated 15.03.2016, wherein the high court had observed with concern that NTC had not been constituted under Sections 3 and 5 of the NTC Act, 2015, as one of the NTC members did not fulfill the requirements laid down in Section 5 of the Act.

Therefore, in order to ensure continuity in the functioning of NTC, the LHC directed the NTC and the federal government to replace one member with another member within a period of thirty days as per the qualifications prescribed in Section 5 of the NTC Act.

But instead of appointing the member, the federal government is contemplating to appoint all the five members, which has given rise to the fears that this would invite more litigation.

They said that the domestic industry had been left with no other option but to acquaint the concerned quarters with its grievances so that the government could make the appointment immediately in order to make this institution functional again.

The other members or even all the five members may be appointed in due course of time through proper channel, and they will start performing their duties as and when they take charge.

Representatives of one of the domestic industry met with Azmatullah Ranjha, Secretary Commerce, during second week of August 2016 and requested to appoint one member on urgent basis so that the NTC could become functional in line with the spirit of judgment of Lahore High Court.

However, he informed the representatives that the government was considering making appointments within next few weeks.